Ruhe bitte!, or Quiet please! in English, is commonly heard in theaters and libraries. These places call for quiet, well-behaved, and considerate behavior. And these instructions seem well deserved, when observing the characters of German artist Martin Liebscher.
Author Patricia Breinholm Bertram
Photography David Stjernholm

Climbing along the bookshelves and crawling on the balconies of well-known theaters and concert halls, such as Harpa in Reykjavik or The Opera House in Copenhagen, everyone seems out of control in these architectural landmarks. Liebscher produces his large-scale works by processing digital photographs, which he has taken on himself with the help of an assistant. The characters are therefore not digitally manipulated, but real images of a real person in action, and his impressive photographic works are often based on thousands of individual photographs.
Furthermore, Liebscher’s works are based on a specific architectural site or social environment, which he invades as the omnipresent protagonist. Perhaps most striking is the portrayal of the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin, where the artist uses a multi-perspective approach, herewith moving away from the basic idea of photography, as capturing a single moment from a single point-of-view, towards something more closely related to film. Several areas of the library are visible in a seamless collage, moving between floors and rooms.

In his second series LOCKDOWN, the UFO intrudes as an alien body into romantic or metaphorical locations around Wustrow, a picturesque German tourist town near the Baltic Sea. Hovering above the ground, it contrasts not only the landscape, but also the daunting silence of 2020. During the first lockdowns, the world seemed completely deserted, not unlike popular disaster movies.
Alien or unexpected visitors are present in most of the exhibition. Not only in the work, but also in the gallery space itself. Through augmented reality, several new visitors appear in the gallery, a space, which similar to both theaters and libraries, normally calls for well-mannered behavior.

Martin Liebscher (b. 1964) is a German artist, living and working in Berlin and Frankfurt. Liebscher studied at the Städelschule in Frankfurt and the Slade School of Fine Art, London, and he has since 2007 been Professor of Photography at the Offenbach University of Art and Design. His works are present in several private and public collections, including Deutsche Bank, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, City of Tampere, Finland, Deutsche Börse and Kunsthalle Bremen, among others.