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.
|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 dieKLEINERT.de, picture agency and representation for illustrators|
|2010–||Under the pseudonym Käthe deKoe working as a free lance photographer, i. a. for LAXMag.de|
|Käthe deKoe lives and works in Munich|
Exhibitions (G = Group show)
|2013||„Mein München“ (G), Farbenladen im Feierwerk, Munich|
|Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Abendzeitung, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, as well as numerous publishers and associations.|
“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)