Judith Samen

Kunstverein Bochum

The aesthetic of the Düsseldorf school of photography is by now a familiar one: distanced, straightforward shots of people, landscapes, cities, and museum interiors, subjects often photographed with such objective detachment that it can take a considered effort to determine whether the work is by Thomas Ruff, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, or Candida Höfer. Although Judith Samen grew up in the Ruhrgebiet and studied at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, her photographs manifest a completely different style.

As Samen freely admits, it is not the medium of photography itself that interests her: rather than using her camera as a documentary tool, she uses it to produce carefully staged images. After making elaborate preparatory drawings, she sets up tableaux in her studio and shoots them with her camera, presenting both the sketches and the resulting photographic images in her shows. The tableaux

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