Cowboys and Indians- First US exhibtion of photographs by Marc Ohrem-Leclef
‘untitled (jumping)’ from Chasing Cows
(© Marc Ohrem-Leclef)
The German Consulate General Presents:
The American West has given rise to numerous myths and legends. It is one of the factors that keeps the idea of the West alive from generation to generation.
Marc Ohrem-Leclef’s newest body of work, Cowboys and Indians, has deftly tapped into that vast reservoir of powerful images that relate to this subject, but also mystifies it. The tongue-in-cheek title of his exhibition makes reference to the old myth of Native American Indians and Anglo-American cowboys as well as to the ingrained cultural perceptions of Westerns as representing a set of values about new frontiers, autonomy, and freedom. Indians as linked to the Western myth, which turned their own history into an affirmation of the values their ancestors strove for and imposed on the West.
Yet, Ohrem-Leclef’s photographs complicate that story. For one, they have not been taken in America, but rather in India and Australia. Those shot in India capture the sculptural, emotionally charged portraits of young wrestlers exercising/practicing the thousand year old tradition of Kushti.
Precisely constructed, the pictures are subtle investigations in masculinity. They focus on the male body brought to the point of physical exertion and spiritual transcendence.
Shot in close-ups and often radically cropped, they place us within the wrestlers’ arena. Enlarge image ‘untitled (stage-view)’ from Untitled / Indian wrestling students (© Marc Ohrem-Leclef) We assume an athlete’s outlook. Ohrem-Leclef has taken the pictures in black-and-white and in color, shifting back-and-forth from a documentary to an expressionist viewpoint, and thus constantly reframing the question of masculinity.
Those taken in Australia address the mythologized cowboy and his epic adventure. Leclef’s active photographing offers a profound understanding about the rituals of their lifestyle. Whether shot in action or staged, his pictures of Jackaroos lend a critical twist to the performativity and accoutrements that surround this intimate, male-dominated world. Together this new body of work reveals all that is unvarnished yet sensual about masculinity and sports from a multicultural perspective.
For further info contact Marc Ohrem-Leclef 1.718.384.5888 1.917.609.5888 marcleclef%27%com,info
Marc was born in Düsseldorf, 1971.
After working as an EMT and interning with a regional newspaper, he studied Communication Design at FH Darmstadt completing an extensive photography-thesis on life in rural Jamaica. Since 1994 he has worked as a commercial photographer based in New York City and Cologne, while simultaneously pursuing his fine art photography projects.
Ohrem-Leclef’s work has been exhibited in Germany and published in numerous international publications.
"Cowboys and Indians" featured in La Lettre de la Photographie: http://www.lalettredelaphotographie.com/entries/6215/marc-ohrem-cowboys-and-indians
Location and time:
German Consulate General
871 United Nations Plaza (49th Street and 1st Avenue), New York
Free Admission. RSVP required for opening reception on March 27 at 6 p.m.
Please send an email to: germanconsulatenyc[at]gmail.com
The exhibtion will be on view from March 27, 2012 through April 27, 2012, during regular office hours (Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.). Excluding Friday, April 6 and Monday, April 9, 2012.
As a general rule, all events held at the German Consulate General are free and open to the public unless otherwise specified. However, due to the high number of responses and limited space availability, we kindly ask that you RSVP to the address provided and receive confirmation before attending. If the number of guests exceeds the maximum allowed by the fire regulations, we will have to turn people away. Please show photo ID at the door.