Space - History (Raum - Geschichte). 2001
In the program of the Friedenskirche (Church of Peace) from May 2001 it said: "For more than 125 years the Friedenskirche has served as a meeting place." And that is exactly what the current exhibition project by Bertram Kober is about. We meet history. History is brought into the space of the church by this photo installation. Occurrences that basically took place around the corner – history of the neighborhood and incidents from daily life – are presented. The picture series of the walls record historical photographs from Gohlis for preservation. They show events from about 100 years ago. They give us information about the industrial development of the city of Leipzig that soon let the surrounding towns expand in the 19th century. They also show the population that quickly grew back then and also made it necessary to build this church in order to give the large congregation of the suburb Gohlis a spiritual center. And they show the quickly expanding funicular railway factory complex, Bleichert & Co. constructed in 1881 on Luetzowstrasse or the new connecting railway to Wahren.
The search for evidence in an unusual way, that is also what Bertram Kober's works are about. In this way, he tried to add a current picture of the place to the old pictures. It wasn't always simple to identify the location. Long years of history don't only change the faces of people, but also their environment. The associative series of the artist's pictures connect traces of very common and also very personal events.
... Bertram Kober found what moves him about this topic verbalized by Karl Jaspers: "What is history? ... it is still alive, its decisions are not final on the whole, but only relatively, they are revisable. What was, is capable of even newer meaning. What seemed decided, is questioned by something new. What was, will still show what it is. It isn't lying there as dead remains." (From the Origin and Goal of History, original: Vom Ursprung und Ziel der Geschichte) Nothing is final – the thinker opens up new insights, the artist does too.
Christine Dorothea Hoelzig
Excerpt from the opening speech at the exhibition „Bertram Kober Raum - Geschichte“ in the Friedenskirche Leipzig on 4 May 2001