this catalogue is published alongside with the exhibition – Tim Bruening's COMEBACK at the Horst-Janssen-Museum Oldenburg
designed by studio other types
24,5 cm x 31 cm
with texts by Sven Christian Schuch, Torsten Neumann
printed by Pinguin Druck in Berlin
In the solo exhibition COMEBACK, photographer and artist Tim Bruening (*1983) embarks on a personal journey through the eccentric world of film from Hollywood to Cannes, back to his home town of Oldenburg.
In COMEBACK, individual groups of works are condensed into cinematic collages, portraits of well-known actors correspond with partly concrete and partly abstract landscapes to form completely independent connotations that question the usual patterns of observation and encourage the viewer's gaze to new readings: a celebration of the imagination, the fascination of storytelling and its potential to make even the impossible possible.
Tim Bruening is characterised by his very own aesthetic, which can best be described as a snapshot: instantaneous, spontaneous and very close to the supposed object of desire. He creates unique portraits that are born in the situational moment and immortalised in his photography. The photographs oscillate between appearance and reality, they deliberately play with the authenticity factor in the film industry, where it is simply part of the business that the private and professional spheres seem to be inextricably interwoven, and where everyone is part of a big family.
In Bruening's photographs, however, family is not only symbolically represented but in the person of Oma Elsbeth (engl. Grandma Elsbeth), the actual star of the exhibition. She re-enacts legendary roles, dressing up as Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, reanimating Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, embodying the classic Hollywood topos as a cowboy and conjuring up Clint Eastwood. Bruening takes this game to the extreme by presenting video interviews in the exhibition in which Hollywood stars make statements or even personal greetings about his successful comeback —or even address them to Oma Elsbeth. The selection and composition of the photographs create a narrative all of their own, documental street scenes of New York are cinematically charged. Photographs of landscapes in the form of wallpaper constitute a final visual layer, as background
noise and backdrop against which the very own story plays out.
Thus, in a humorous way Bruening playfully holds up a mirror to the film industry, at the same time glorifying and demystifying it tongue-in-cheek, and shifting the return to his roots and his overtly proclaimed comeback into the right light.
Text: Sven Christian Schuch