“A Priori” by Angelika Rinnhofer
Exhibition: January 12-January 31, 2017
Opening Reception: January 12 at 7pm
German artist Angelika Rinnhofer, born in Nuremberg, Germany, grew up surrounded by the visual opulence of Catholic churches in Bavaria. She spent church services in fearful awe, absorbing the images of tortured saints and martyrs that lined the walls. It was an unforgettable experience that she now draws upon as an artist. Trained as a photographer in Germany, Rinnhofer started posing people in bygone costumes, in postures, lighting, and composition inspired by the Old Masters. Not tied to the visual language of just one painter or one period in time, the photographs nevertheless are heavily inspired especially by Albrecht Dürer, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio, by Mannerism and the Renaissance.
For “a priori”, artist Angelika Rinnhofer records narratives of individuals, whose attempts to make sense of memories, stories, and facts eventually led to the disclosure of their Jewish heritage. She takes photographs of her participants and interviews them about their discoveries.
With this project Rinnhofer sifts through the implications of her participants’ discoveries and tries to reveal the effect that anecdotes of trauma and separation have on one’s sense of self. The discovery of a family secret, often conceived out of necessity and passed on from generation to generation, carries the potential for revision and melioration. The effects of such revelations on her participants’ lives vary greatly, and Rinnhofer documents these disclosures and postulates their potential to transform.
As a German artist who immigrated to the US, Angelika Rinnhofer has been exploring her own transformation while adapting to life in America. The effect that her chosen community has had on her life and art, all the while considering her upbringing in another culture, has prompted questions based in sociological discourse. With “a priori”, with its catalyst in Germany’s history and its focus on Jewish identity, Rinnhofer explores the dynamics of communities and the role of the individual in their midst.
To learn more about Angelika click, here.