Magda Hueckel


Exhibition of theatre photography


This is a tale of the body subject to a radical experience, immersed in suffering, pushed to its limits; a body broken into pieces, immobilised, frozen, stripped of identity. A body post-climax, immediately becoming a broken-down body. These images trigger an affective mode of reception, situating us on the side of pain and the collapse of identity. But they are also a source of aesthetic pleasure. They say: look how appealing the suffering body can be. This contains a germ of the narcissistic masochism of contemporary culture, the beautiful depression of those who have not achieved what they imagine to be their ideal selves.


Magda Hueckel’s exhibition is a kind of extension of the HUECKEL/THEATRE photobook, which  is integrally linked to the photographer’s work, picking up and developing themes present in her projects. At the same time, it proves that photographing the theatre, keeping to one’s duties to document art, can still involve autonomous creativity. The exhibition speaks as much about the language of contemporary theatre as it does about contemporary culture.


“Never as a viewer have I seen so much, so precisely, from so near. Never have I been so much in the centre of events on stage. And not without cause, as Hueckel mingles with the actors, amid the action, in a place where I will never go. In these photographs there is an overwhelming feeling of reportage, but not that to which we have become accustomed—a new, different one: street photography shifted to the black box of the theatre, collecting everything that life brings, enjoying the light found in the canyons of the streets, surprised by faces caught in a grimace. Therefore, looking at Hueckel’s photos not as realisation of a commission, a craftswoman fulfilling her contract (documenting what is important in such a way as for it to remain recognisable and give the play a longer life), I perceive in them an intrinsic duration based on the pleasure of observation. This is no better or worse than the duration of the show that she documented, but simply different, as it is based on different rules. Her photos now belong solely to the world of visual arts, top-class documentary photography. The form—regardless of the theatrical material she is dealing with—is her own.”

Wojciech Nowicki, Exposure (curatorial text from the HUECKEL/THEATRE photobook)


November 09-12.2019


Royal District Theatre  სამეფო უბნის თეატრი
10 Gia Abesadze street
Tbilisi, Georgia