Helga Paris, Photographer
The most comprehensive retrospective to date of the photographer Helga Paris covers around 20 years before and after 1989, so that continuities and recurring themes and motifs become visible. From the very beginning, the self-taught artist dedicated herself to portraying neighbours, artists and punks, and soon the chronicler of the Prenzlauer Berg working-class district becomes a traveller as well. Whether in Halle, Leipzig, Moscow, Volgograd or New York – even in places where she is not at home, she photographs people from close proximity and in moments of familiarity.
Her most recent picture series focus on Berlin again. She meets young people in Hellersdorf, whose gaze into the camera asks what their future will look like; and she concludes her ten-year engagement with Alexanderplatz. Her photographs invite us to see the individual – beyond ideologisation and attribution. Helga Paris always succeeds in capturing the people in her pictures in moments of agreement with themselves.
At the finissage on 12 Jan, the presentation of the photo book Helga Paris, Leipzig Hauptbahnhof 1981/82 – published by Spector Books in 2019, in Leipzig – as well as the award ceremony for the Cultural Prize (Kulturpreis) 2019 of the German Photographic Association (DGPh) to Helga Paris will take place.