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Whispering Gallery

The photographs in the series Whispering Gallery document an expedition to that mythical place that supplies memories with energies. Franz Kafka described this place as the mysterious room that everyone carries within themselves and whose existence can even be verified by hearing: "If you listen, for example at night, when everything around is silent," Kafka wrote, "you can hear, for example, the clatter of a wall mirror that has not been fastened enough". In Bernd Weingart's photographs, such possibilities of inspection have been put into the picture. His expedition took place at the end of the 1980s in the partly already vanished world of the GDR, in the Thuringian countryside near Gotha. The fine veil of mist over this landscape, the diesig softness and vagueness that has always characterised the "metaphysical" mood of Thuringia, benefited the dream views. Usually travelling at night with a like-minded friend on lonely country roads and country lanes, roaming in wonderfully overgrown parks and in the whispering vaults of rotten house-palaces without window panes, he discovered in his search for the secrets of the details from which memory also draws its energies, in the "mirrors of the labyrinth" of his life, he discovered the reality of his own dream world, the perception of which allowed him to give form to his life in the midst of the outer dreariness of the GDR by individually illuminating the (almost surreal) moments in his black-and-white works.

Such research into the personal myth of life, which gives the photographs their added value beyond the documentary, also exposed the substance of the materials of a historical past both in terms of the architectural composition depicted in the works and the psychic reality that emerges in them and determines collective life, whose traces beyond the present at the end of the 1980s grant a view far back into old Germany to the beginning of the 20th century and in this respect assert a timelessness behind the mostly hidden simultaneity of all events.

- Christian Linder