Colour photography became popular even before World War I. Along with Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen, the photo artist Heinrich Kühn was one of the first pioneers of photography in Germany. Together they experimented with the autochrome process, with which colour photos could be made with a single shot. The magic of these early photographs was the subject of the exhibition and film project “Endangered Paradise”. Heinrich Kühn’s autochrome photos, which comprise the majority of his oeuvre, had long been stored in archives and were now displayed on replicas of the original glass prints. The exhibition was accompanied by a documentary film installation about the life and work of Heinrich Kühn and his early artistic photography. German culture experienced an innovative phase at the beginning of the 20th century which saw the simultaneous rise of social and cultural movements which mutually influenced one another. Though Kühn’s photos reflect the dawning of a new age, they are also iconic for the bourgeois desire for harmony and naturalness. In the documentary, Kühn’s grandchildren share their childhood memories of the photographer. The film also includes interviews with experts, such as Ulrich Pohlmann of the Stadtmuseum in Munich, Peter Weibel of the ZKM Karlsruhe and the filmmaker Alexander Kluge, who discuss the cultural historic significance of Kühn’s work.
Following its presentation at the Schloss Tirol in Meran/southern Tyrol, the exhibition and video installation went on tour to festivals and art-house cinemas in Germany and Austria.
Artistic director, staging: Markus Heltschl
Artist: Heinrich Kühn
Photographer: Clemens Cichocki (Intercultural Social Project) (AT)
Architect: Betina Hanel (AT)
Starting in German Cinemas: January 2015
Avista Film Herbert Rimbach