>Gallery >Exhibitions >Transition

Lillian Birnbaum




Lillian Birnbaum is showing a selection of works from the series “Transition” at the FOTOHOF. This is a long-term project by the artist that was created over a period of five years. On her travels through the USA and Europe, Birnbaum photographed young girls on the threshold of adulthood. Birnbaum’s fine observations convey both an image of childhood and the first awakening of an undefined femininity. “The camera became its own element in the girls’ lives, a kind of accomplice in their self-discovery, the discovery of their own female identity.” (Doris von Drathen)
The artist is fascinated by the phenomenon of identity. In the portraits, she explores the question of how identity can transform itself and what influences this process is subject to. She tries to take the point of view of the other person, to slip into the skin of the other and to look at the world with foreign eyes. “I wasn’t interested in doing milieu studies. I was really interested in whether one could capture this state of transition pictorially. This slow, almost imperceptible change from one state of being to another, this transformation of a cocoon from which a completely different being hatches all at once – that occupied me, as an intermediate realm, as a phenomenon.” (Lillian Birnbaum)

Lillian Birnbaum, »Diane«, 2001-2006, C-Print, Courtesy Galerie Esther Woerdehoff
Lillian Birnbaum, »Three in Water«, 2001-2006, C-Print, Courtesy Galerie Esther Woerdehoff

Lillian Birnbaum, born in New York and raised in Vienna, has made an international name for herself as a portrait photographer. Her book “Four Women” with staged portraits of the German actresses Hanna Schygulla, Barbara Sukowa, Katharina Thalbach and Sunnyi Melles received great attention.