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Jessica Backhaus


What Still Remains – One Day in November


What Still Remains

“What Still Remains” is the title of a photo series that has been taken at various locations since 2006. In this cycle, the German-American photographer explores the question of why forgotten or left-behind things appear in certain places and seem to lead a kind of life of their own. Backhaus has succeeded in photographically capturing motifs that radiate both grandeur and mystery. They undoubtedly force the viewer to linger longer than usual in order to discover the interconnection between the seemingly banal and the mysterious.

Jessica Backhaus, »Marlon Brando«, aus der Serie: »What Still Remains«, 2006, C-Print, 28 x 36 cm

One Day in November

In December 2008, Gisèle Freund would have celebrated her 100th birthday. Jessica Backhaus’ series One Day in November is a homage to the great photographer and tells of the extraordinary friendship between Gisèle Freund and the then photography student in Paris in the 1990s.
The classic master student relationship developed into a lifelong friendship between the two women, who came from different cultural backgrounds. Jessica Backhaus has created works over the years that she now feels she would have liked to show her mentor back then. One Day In November is a personal selection of Jessica Backhaus’ own photographs, compiled as a posthumous birthday gift for Gisèle Freund.
Gisèle Freund can certainly be counted among the greatest artistic and intellectual personalities of the 20th century. Her importance lies in her photographic and literary work as well as in her eventful biography.

Jessica Backhaus, »bathroom«, aus der Serie: »One day in November«, C-Print, 22 x 30 cm

In all of her works, the New York-based photographer Jessica Backhaus deals with questions about the passage of time and aspects of transience. In her snapshots, Jessica Backhaus captures a deeply human dimension in a direct and undisguised but also extremely precise compositional manner, even if they are often only inconspicuous things that tell of people’s dreams and hopes.

“What still remains” and “One Day in November” were published in book form by Kehrer, Heidelberg, in 2008.

Jessica Backhaus, »Ahmic Lake«, aus der Serie: »What Still Remains«, 2006, C-Print, 76 x 101 cm
Jessica Backhaus, »Kaffee to go«, aus der Serie: »What Still Remains«, 2008, C-Print, 28 x 36 cm
Curated by Andrew Phelps