Dominik Butzmann | exhibition „Haltung“


I could not believe how many friends, clients and enthusiasts were attending my exhibition „HALTUNG“ so far. So many wonderful talks, hard discussions, big laughs. Robert Habeck opened the show on Wednesday 16th of January with a precisely developed analysis of my work and  a general overview to the question „How does it feel to be photographed as a very popular politician?“.

He started with a rough description of the fact that „Haltung“ can be „Pose“ and „Position“ at the same time in german language. Given that many people are disappointed by politics and politicians,  photography can help to „put this question to a test“, a proof if there’s a strong and clear position or not. The best way to find out, Habeck said, is find hints about the sorrows and the wishes of people.  The goal should be to „be touched deeply by a picture“ and if one can be touched by heart just in looking at a portrait he won’t „leave the picture as the same person than he went into it“.

Robert said that my portraits are able to serve as a touching, changing work. I must say, this is the most beautiful compliment ever about my work….

He continued in dividing the physical position and the political position, that maybe can match. And that leaves the viewer, you, yes YOU, alone. You have to question your expectations, what do you WANT to see when you look at politicians? „Position can also be Contenance, meaning to stand by with a position against pressure“.

And can you see this? How far would YOU go in straightly following an idea? How far can you go in feeling empathy with a „political enemy?“ Robert chose my portrait of nationalist leader Alexander Gauland to say :“A person that could not be in a greater political distance. But the portrait was able to touch me, to learn something about the state of mind of Gauland. About the human being.“

Robert finished in saying that the big challenge is to get behind what Walter Benjamin described as the „aloofness of every person“. The aloofness of politicians is something that is very important for them and the technique of getting beyond should be very careful.

„That maybe is the secret behind Dominiks pictures“

Thank you very much, Robert!

All pictures by Sascha Hilgers