Sun in an Empty Room
Anna Lehmann-Brauns photographs rooms and architectures. She does not consider herself to be an architecture photographer, however, and denies doing documentary work.
Born and based in Berlin, she sees her role as much more akin to that of a director of photography. Just like in film, she creates visual worlds by using light and shadow. Choosing her position carefully, she combines perspectives with subjective, spatial ideas, based on moods and memories.
These are quiet compositions, emphasizing shadows just as much as the lighting conditions they arise from. It is not hard to draw a parallel to the still life of fine art: devoid of human presence, these rooms show only inanimate objects, elements and things silently populating the room.
The soft light often stands in contrast with the content depicted. The photographer takes the viewer into nocturnal and urban decors - cinemas, nightclubs, hotels, film sets. Dynamic, noisy places full of history and movement. Contrasts converge: the darkness of the night competing with the artificial lighting. The clash of these two phenomena defines the work of Anna Lehmann-Brauns. Both worlds flow into each other like a viscous and dull mist, smudging the boundaries of reality.
"Sun in an Empty Room" is not only the name of an image collection, but also a quote, recalling Edward Hopper. The great master was adept at using light and shadow to transfer a sculptural space onto the flat canvas, without losing any of the depth of his motives. The result were chromatic moods which fully integrate into the era whose characteristics they reflect.
The work of Anna Lehmann-Brauns functions in a similar way: light penetrates into and out of the dark room and reveals contemporary scenes with individual character. Softly and silently, the shadows escape into the night.
English translation by Nadia Linden