German photographer and legendary bouncer, Sven Marquardt, is coming to Belgrade as a part of the Artist in Residence project. The central event of the residence will be Marquardt’s exhibition “Future’s Past” in the KC Grad gallery. It opens tonight, Monday 5 June at 8pm and runs to 17 June. The exhibition will be accompanied by numerous complimentary programmes. Just as with any artistic residence project, in addition to the exhibition, Marquardt will spend his time in Belgrade creating new work inspired by the city and its people.
Every weekend, as dawn breaks over Berlin, a line of several hundred people curls back from the hulking shell of a former East German power plant. Inside is Berghain, an electronic-music club famous for supremely good techno, round-the-clock debauchery and, to the chagrin of many in line, what may be the world’s strictest, most inscrutable door policy. There are no reservations, no bottle service, and no way to get on a guest list. Many folks wait for hours and then, with no explanation, get politely asked to step aside and go elsewhere. Who decides who gets in and who doesn’t? That would be this man, Sven Marquardt, who has run security at the club since it first opened in 2004.
He’s no dumb muscle
When not working the door, Marquardt is a distinguished photographer who has published three art books and a memoir, Die Nacht ist Leben. He may be the only bouncer in the world who has also done a menswear collaboration with Hugo Boss. He is also responsible for the visual identity of Berghain’s own music label Ost Gut Ton since 2007. Not everyone knows that the photograph of a mysterious older lady, glaring on the cover of a famous techno producer Len Faki’s album, is one of Marquardt’s masterpieces.
Marquardt’s rich career was much influenced by the socio-political situation before and after the fall of Berlin Wall. Born in 1962, he started his career in photography in East Berlin during the early eighties. After his education as camera assistant and photographer at DEFA (GDR’s public-owned film studio), Marquardt’s first publications appeared in Der Sonntag and Das Magazin. From 1985 until 1986, Sven Marquardt worked as an assistant for Rudolf Schäfer – an iconic figure in East Germany’s photo scene. Next to his work as fashion photographer for Sibylle, Marquardt portrayed the artists of the fashion spectacle Allerleirauh (1987–1989) as well as exceptional black and white photographies of East Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg scene. After the Wall came down, he immersed into the burgeoning club scene of a unified Berlin and processed his impressions in his exhibitions, with “staged photography” for Levi’s during Berlin’s Fashion Week and time and time again through fashion shootings for magazines likes Qvest and Front. Sven Marquardt’s first illustrated book Zukünftig Vergangen was published by Mitteldeutscher Verlag in 2010.
Exhibition of Marquardt’s work titled “Future’s Past” reflects three decades of his professional career with grey scale photographs packed with symbolism and very subtle references to art history. His work invites the viewer for a closer look, for an analysis of the captured moment, of the complex decorum and choice of accessories and props in juxtaposition with the person in the image. The strong contrast is brought to life by the choice of grey scale photography: images are shot in daylight, but depicting night time activities and atmospheres. Merging the past into present and future is the common theme in this image series, which will be on display until 17 June.