The Triennial of Photography Hamburg owes its origins to an initiative of the photographer, collector and sponsor of photography F.C. Gundlach. In 1999, with infectious enthusiasm for the cause of photography he succeeded in gaining the support of the directors of Hamburg's major museums for the 1st Triennial of Photography. At that time, F.C. Gundlach expressed his hope that "this event might help photography take the place it deserved within Hamburg's cultural life."
From April to September of the year 1999, five major museums as well as Deichtorhallen, Kunsthaus, Kunstverein, Freie Akademie der Künste, forty galleries, and other institutions presented a variety of photo exhibitions, thus showing the potential of photography. Especially worth mentioning, the Deichtorhallen even offered three different exhibitions to the public. Digital Photography dealt with the new technology of digitalization that revolutionized photography at that time. Curated by Zdenek Felix, this exhibition showed the impact of this new technology on photography and the resulting change within the medium. Weegee - Days and Nights in New York presented the work of the American photographer, whose black and white photographs of accidents and dead bodies in the streets of New York at night made him world famous. The highlight of the exhibition trilogy was the show More than meets the eye. Curated by Wilhelm Schürmann, the exhibition dealt with transitions from visibility to invisibility. Assuming that human curiosity is keen on investigating and on making any place visible, the photographs showed the fringes of familiar perceptions - fields of imagination, secret views, and past occurrences.
The Hamburger Kunsthalle presented Andy Warhol - Photography, showing the large photographic work of an artist, whose constant companion was a snapshot camera. Together with Warhol's polaroids and prints, all his working methods were presented coherently for the first time on the occasion of the 1st Triennial of Photography. In the exhibition Zeitblicke - 30 years of photography in Germany the BFF (association of freelance photo designers) presented photographs of three decades of fashion, style, aesthetic concepts, and social events at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe. The Altonaer Museum emphasized with two exhibitions the importance of Hamburg as a city of photography and photographers - Bilder der Großstadt - Hamburg im Porträt seiner Fotografen und Fotografinnen (Pictures of a City - Hamburg in the eyes of its Photographers) curated by Henriette Väth-Hinz and Emil Puls, ein Fotograf aus Altona (Emil Puls - A Photographer from Altona) curated by Denis Brudna. An exhibition at Freie Akademie der Künste, Zwischen Abstraktion und Wirklichkeit (Between Abstraction and Reality), including 170 works of 25 photographers, showed a retrospective of German photography in the fifties. With works of Peter Keetman, Siefried Lauterwasser, Toni Schneiders, and Otto Steinert visitors could get an idea of how important and influential these photographers of "fotoform" had been at that time.
With exhibitions of Herlinde Koelbl (Gallery Peter Borchardt), André Lützen, Jochen Lempert, Peter Dammann, Daniel and Geo Fuchs (all Kunsthaus Hamburg) as well as Floris Neusüss (Multiple Box), Robert Lebeck (Kunstraum Falkenstein, Elke Dröscher), and Günther Förg (Gallery Vera Munro), photographic works of highest aesthetic quality were to be seen at Hamburg's galleries.
Important events and yearly meetings, like LeadAwards and FreeLens, as well as the awarding of three major German photo prizes - Pixel Awards '99, BFF Förderpreis '99, and FreeLens Layout Award - complemented the extensive exhibition program.
Supporters and Sponsors:
Kulturbehörde der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg
NDR Hamburg 90,3