#SommerWende: Art/Science of #postsocialism

Summer of course is a nice time to take vacation and go on a trip, visit new places, admire historical sights, explore local cuisine, and go to a museum! That’s why today Allegra gladly welcomes you to #AVMoFA – Allegra’s Virtual Museum of Obscure Fieldwork Artefacts – to witness the grand opening of a personal exhibition Die SommerWende  that presents 22 works by Axel Schön. The photos stem from different years, within the 90’s. All from the former Soviet Union, the photos were taken under different circumstances. They are both in color and black-and-white and they all depict summer with expressive vividness.

 

Die SommerWende  can be roughly translated from German as “Summer Change” or “Summer Turning Point”. Historically, summer was the culmination of the year and in many European cultures it closed the yearly cycle, with new year festivities celebrated in early autumn. In agricultural societies it was a transformative time, as the harvest yield and well-being for the year to come depend on summer. In modern urbanized office living, summer has become the favorite holiday season, time to take a break and load energy for the next year. Also for most school kids it is the best season marked by a long holiday, a great time to have fun and play outside before the new school year begins. At the same time, summer is just another season to be lived through. Societal changes and political transformations do not regard times of the year – people continue with their routines as the world around them changes.

Die SommerWende  is about people, about their living spaces and life circumstances, and about postsocialism as a European experience – regardless of national borders.

There are two sides to these photographic works. One is factual: people sunbathing, shopping, partying, chilling, working. The other one is emotional: enjoyment of holiday season, grief over the lost home, tiredness of the working day, frustration and excitement of the daily experiences. Are these pictures a critical social commentary, a thorough reportage, a social landscape captured on film, or are they simply the product of the artist’s imagination? We look forward to speaking with Axel Schön about his photo exhibition during an interview that will be published tomorrow, but for now let’s enter the museum and absorb Die SommerWende.

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