Pho­to­gra­pher Käthe deKoe (born 1984) has become a fixed term to the public, spe­ci­fi­cally through her image-based reporting of Munich’s pop and rock con­certs in the music maga­zine LAX­mag. In 2013, her rela­tively unknown artistic side was on view for the first time in the exhi­bi­tion “My Munich” at Feierwerk’s Far­ben­la­den. There she exhi­bi­ted expe­ri­men­tal pho­to­gra­phy and images from Munich’s urban land­scape. Her early pho­to­gra­phic works include the inten­tio­nally blurry image “Game of Life 1.” This image vio­la­tes all con­ven­ti­ons by allo­wing the indif­fe­rent, bright tile floor of the S-Bahn’s mez­za­nine to occupy two-thirds of the image. The S-bahn-passengers, who read as brush­strokes, are cut off at the hip and forced into the image. Jux­t­a­po­sed along the right side of the frame are stor­e­fronts that read as an orange and blue stain. “Game of Life 2,” the recently crea­ted pho­to­graph, also con­nects to these pri­mary cha­rac­te­ristics by moving the image to a level of a veri­fia­ble sub­ject that is still non­de­script in nature. The third image of this series ven­tures fur­ther into abstrac­tion. There are also ten­den­cies of dis­in­te­gra­ting reso­lu­tion in “wal­king in the rain,” wher­ein color­fully dres­sed people are rein­ter­pre­ted as islands of color against a white back­ground. Her cur­rent series “Sum­mer­land” and its indi­vi­dual images entit­led “Calm” and “Sur­fer” make use of motifs from Munich’s sum­mer. In con­junc­tion with richly con­tras­ting colors, a con­ti­nuous blur­ring effect is a suc­cess­ful bridge to Impres­sio­nist pain­ting. Flat­ness, decen­tra­liza­tion, and ambi­guity are ulti­mately the pro­per­ties of other works like “Dream of Fly­ing” and “Bored” whose motive foun­da­tion in this way is fic­ti­tiously alie­na­ted and turns to abstract sym­bo­lism.
The digi­tal pho­to­gra­phy of Käthe deKoe, thus, cha­rac­te­ri­zes its­elf through an ela­bo­rate variety of expe­ri­men­tal tech­ni­ques and pic­to­rial archi­tec­ture where the goal is to achieve con­flict bet­ween rea­lity and a pic­to­rial rea­lity. Wit­hout any orches­tra­ted inter­ven­tion, the encoun­tered motif — as a bea­rer of mea­ning — is repla­ced by the auto­nomy of form gene­ra­ted by pho­to­gra­phic tech­ni­que and post-processing.

Cur­ri­cu­lum Vitae
1984 born as Itje Susanna Klei­nert in Munich, Bava­ria, Germany
2001–2002 Par­ti­ci­pa­tion at the gal­lery „Ny 182“, Munich
2001–2004 Co-organization of „kul_türen“, Munich-Neuhausen
2002–2005 High school for design of the Ernst-Barlach-Schulen, Munich
2002–2006 Internships at the image agency „Arto­gra­fika“, the adver­ti­sing agency „Iden­tity Con­cept und Design“ and the Kreis­ju­gend­ring München-Stadt (PR work depart­ment, youth cul­ture work)
2004–2005 Lea­der of the youth group of „amnesty inter­na­tio­nal“, Munich
2006–2009 Trai­ning as event manager
2010– Employ­ment at, pic­ture agency and rep­re­sen­ta­tion for illustrators
2010– Under the pseud­onym Käthe deKoe working as a free lance pho­to­gra­pher, i. a. for
Käthe deKoe lives and works in Munich
Exhi­bi­ti­ons (G = Group show)
2024 „deKoe Gantar Vogt Zalenga“ (G), Ingo Seu­fert — Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy, Munich
2022 „Schu­ma­cher Weise deKoe“ (G), Ingo Seu­fert — Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy, Munich
2020 „Men­schen­bil­der“ (G), New Town Hall, Munich
2016 „Gems­to­nes“ (G), Ingo Seu­fert — Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy, Munich
„A Land is a Scape is a Soul“ (G), Ingo Seu­fert — Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy, Munich
2015 „Happy Okto­ber­fest!“ (G), Ingo Seu­fert — Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy, Munich
2013 INTRO15“ (G), Ingo Seu­fert — Gal­lery for Con­tem­porary Pho­to­gra­phy, Munich
„Mein Mün­chen“ (G), Far­ben­la­den im Fei­er­werk, Munich
Biblio­gra­phy (excerpts)
2022 „Foto­künst­le­rin Käthe deKoe“, (1/5/2022)
Ornella Cosenza: „Die Foto­gra­fin Itje Klei­nert im Por­trät — Nur weil es eine Rampe gibt, bedeu­tet das nicht gleich, dass etwas bar­rie­re­frei ist“, (1/2/2022)
2014 „Käthe deKoe — Music is the Key“, Picta Maga­zine 1 (2014) S. 53–56
Süd­deut­sche Zei­tung, Die Abend­zei­tung, Baye­ri­scher Rund­funk, West­deut­scher Rund­funk, Mit­tel­deut­scher Rund­funk, as well as nume­rous publis­hers and associations.

Käthe deKoe

Käthe de Koe

A pho­to­graph mostly descri­bes the hypo­the­ti­cal time period of a moment. I am inte­res­ted in the image as a snap­shot — or rather as a detail of a broa­der con­text — as well as an ima­gi­nary star­ting point of a before and after. This was also the moti­va­tion behind the image ‘Game of Life 1.’ At that moment, I felt that my life was fairly hec­tic. I was sear­ching for a sui­ta­ble rep­re­sen­ta­tion for this, des­pite the hec­tic pace of a blank life. Since then, it has become a con­cern of mine to por­tray objects and situa­ti­ons around me from a dif­fe­rent per­spec­tive and trans­late them into a visual lan­guage that cor­re­sponds to their actual mea­ning. As a result, I do not want to stage — but use what alre­ady exists. I owe the fun­da­men­tals of my pho­to­gra­phic work to the trai­ning and sup­port I recei­ved from the pho­to­gra­pher Enno Kapitza.” (Käthe de Koe)