Florian Albrecht-Schoeck

The relevance of place

Florian Albrecht-Schoeck is concerned with human existence, which he sees as a universal topic, in terms of both time and space. On his photographic forays, the artist focuses on urban environments to explore the meaning of certain places. In doing so, his artistic interest is drawn by architecture and landscapes in which various life forms, ideologies and the history of the places manifest themselves. The geographical assignment of the places he photographs does not play a role when it comes to presenting his works, because Albrecht-Schoeck creates a global kaleidoscope that addresses the system behind all existence.

Any examination of human existence must also include the recognition that many things have previously occurred and recur in different epochs. “Kurzgeschichte” (Short Story), Albrecht-Schoeck’s group of works in twelve parts from 2011, can be interpreted in this light: He allows us to experience sections of the history of mankind using the Museum of Art and Cultural History in Marburg (Hesse) as an example. The photographer combed through the museum from the loft to the storage rooms, the frame store and the exhibition rooms, right down to the basement with a ping-pong table. The result is a photographic portrait of a place that is significant because it documents the ideas, hopes and fears that affect society in a certain era, the traces of the past that remain and how these are overwritten with new ones.

In his group of works on the topic of homeland, the artist once again goes beyond documenting what is visible and examines the relevance of certain topographies and their functions. On countless journeys, he devoted himself to the question of identification and belonging. Starting off in Germany, he later expanded his project to expeditions through Poland and other European and non-European countries. He used an analog medium format camera to take his pictures, developing them himself, often on the spot. His photographs blend a balanced and focused image composition and a timeless quality with a documentary aspiration. What also makes Albrecht-Schoeck’s pictures so fascinating is the symbolic power of many of his motifs and the humorous perspective the intuitive photographer takes.

In another photo series, Florian Albrecht-Schoeck deals with the question of the extent to which people are “Humankapital” (human capital). It all started with a box full of field post that he bought at a flea market. In it, he found letters from a German soldier, who wrote to his mother every day from the Russian front during the Second World War, giving an account of his fate, until he was killed in action. In the photographs that these letters inspired, Albrecht-Schoeck draws parallels to the present day on an abstract level by asking whether and how one must subordinate oneself to a system as an individual and how to deal with today’s economic pressure on a global scale. He develops his artistic work based on political issues such as this, and in doing so manages to translate everyday scenes into the aesthetics of pictures and at the same time create an awareness of social processes in the observer.

Biographical information

1980

born in Darmstadt

2006 – 2014

studies at HfG Offenbach (University of Art and Design) with Martin Liebscher and Marc Ries, Diplomes in Photography and Media Sociology

2011

awarded the Deutsche Börse HfG Fotoförderpreis and Förderpreis des Frankfurter Vereins für Künstlerhilfe e.V.

lives and works in Offenbach