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Elisabeth Neudörfl, Untitled, 2010, gelatin silver print, 19 5/8 x 15 1/2". From the series “Habitat,” 2010.

Elisabeth Neudörfl

Barbara Wien Wilma Lukatsch

Elisabeth Neudörfl, Untitled, 2010, gelatin silver print, 19 5/8 x 15 1/2". From the series “Habitat,” 2010.

In a text describing the methodologies and conceptual concerns that comprise her “topographic” approach to documentary photography, Elisabeth Neudörfl has written that “a fundamental strategy of photography is exclusion.” With its high-contrast black-and-white images of housing blocks and the neglected green areas and dead spaces that border them, the artist’s recent series “Habitat,” 2010, documents—from varying distances and angles—those elements that make up an unidentified residential area, while intentionally denying a representational cohesion or narrative logic. The immediate effect is that the viewer is left to search for the images’ elusive subject matter and to wonder what, exactly, these photographs are meant to show.

The refusal of legibility is intentional. The series was originally produced for “Ruhrblicke” (Ruhr Views) at the SANAA Building at Zeche Zollverein

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