China. Everything happens at the same time.
Excerpts from the book introduction by Hajo Frölich, Lin Hierse, Judith Hollnagel and Veronica Leali:
Certainly we have all come into contact with pictures from China in one way or another and have subsequently tied a personal web of associations to them.
Perhaps those landscape photographs come to mind that seem to confirm a mystical image of the “Far East”: the legendary Chinese wall, for example, which slowly gets lost in its own twists in the far distance; or golden shining rice terraces in the evening light.
But we may also see skyscrapers shooting up into the sky, or crowds of people with breathing masks sliding through narrow streets and across wide zebra crossings. Pictures of Chinese mega-cities that flicker prominently on TV screens or encounter us on the Internet usually seem chaotic, overcrowded and massive.
As varied as these motifs and our ideas may be, in the end they remain surprisingly limited because they repeatedly serve our expectations of the extreme – the monstrous or the inspiring.
In Markus’s pictures, we search in vain for such extremes. “Everything happens at the same time” is dedicated to unnoticed details and everyday connections. Markus invites us to take a step closer to our imaginations and prejudices – and thus shows us a China beyond the masses, beyond superlatives. The China of his pictures surprises above all by its normality – an effect that can only come about because China has never been normal, never unspectacular in the Western imagination, even though it has changed over the centuries.
This began long before the invention of photography: from the first eyewitness accounts of the 13th century up to the 18th century, it was above all praise and admiration – for the immense wealth and superior administration – that determined Europe’s image of the Middle Kingdom. The philosophers of the Enlightenment, such as Leibniz and later Voltaire, transfigured the country, without ever having seen it themselves, into a model for Europe’s elite…
“Everything happens at the same time” plays with these images, with what we know and have learned – to finally point out what we have overlooked, even though it was always there. Markus manages the balancing act between macro and micro perspective. His pictures show the big picture but also focus on the fast-moving details. As viewers, they let us reflect on the individual stories behind the pictures and gradually build a more differentiated image of contemporary China…
It is easy to get lost in Markus’ pictures, to question them and still discover a new detail – after all, everything does in fact happen at the same time.
Berlin, November 07, 2018
Some pictures of this series have been shown at LA CAMERA CHIARA in Berlin, Germany from April 20 until June 16, 2018 (Images from the opening).
The book includes poems by Lin Hierse and is available as a limited edition (33×28cm, 112 pages, 79 images, hardcover, 100 books, numbered and signed) and as a catalogue (25×20cm, 106 pages, 76 images, softcover).
If you want to order it, pleased get in contact with me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catalogue: 49,- Euro
Book: 99,- Euro
Click any image for a bigger size. This is a selection only. The book comes with 79 images and the catalogue with 76 images in total.