Genius Loci – Ural around Yekaterinburg

The architecture of Ural and Yekaterinburg

In the beginning of 2012, fine art photographer Thomas Kellner received a surprising E-Mail from Yekaterinburg in the Russian Urals, to form a project with exhibition and book for the city’s anniversary in 2013, because Yekaterinburg was founded almost 300 years ago in the Ural region, by Georg Wilhem Henning, a Siegen Citizen who moved, invitated by the tsar, to today's Yekaterinburg in the Ural. This was barely known and so the artist started his research. Today his project of Yekaterinburg is completed.

New perspectives of Yekaterinburg and the Ural

During the years of study he began to work with pinhole cameras in the subject of art which built the basis for his approach he is following to the present day, for example in Yekaterinburg and the Ural. In his early works experimenting with material, photographic methods and contents was crucial. It included building pinhole cameras himself in order to adopt them to the purpose he was aiming at. The results reflect a diversity of styles and subjects. They range from multiple perspectives within one photograph of one building in Yekaterinburg over documentary to photograms. In this period he always printed full editions so that today there is a large number of a vintage print for later exhibitions, not just in the Ural region.

Ural's Yekaterinburg in filmstrips

At the end of the nineties then Thomas focused on the analogue camera and 35 mm film. He developed a visual language and method that deconstructs and constructs objects at the same time. Now, since already 15 years, he is working in a worldwide unique style of contactsheets, photographing the object in numerous singular shots until in the end the object is visible in its entirety again, to which the monuments of Yekaterinburg and others in the Ural are an example. The film-material the artist is using is transparent for the recipient as well because the single shots are assembled together as negatives. Therefore perforation, codification and numbers of the film-material are part of the positive.

Genius Loci by Metenkov House Museum of Photography

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Detailed information about gemius loci by Metenkov House

Title: Thomas Kellner – Genius Loci – two German gentlemen in the land of the tsars
Editor: Yekaterinburg History Museum
Author: Irina Chmyreva, Artjem Berkovitch
Photographer: Thomas Kellner
Content: 64 pages, 38 plates
Size: 17 × 24,5 cm , hardcover
Language: Russian 
Publisher: /
Edition: N.N.
Release Date: 2014
Price: 30 Euros
Edition of the special edition: /
Price of the special edition: /

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Thank you to the Yekaterinburg history museum in the Ural for publishing the catalog for me. Special thanks to Prof. Irina Chmyreva and Artjem Berkovitch for the wonderful essay about Yekaterinburg and the Ural. Thank you all for the perfect printing this photobook. Thank you to Metenkov House, Museum of Photography in Yekaterinburg and to Raisa Zorina and Artjem Berkovitch.