Award 2016

Almut Hilf

Denken im Bestand


In everyday usage, we perceive architecture en passant as an immobile object. However, spaces influence how we move within them, what we see, and what we do not see. You can therefore ascribe an active role to architecture, a kind of virtually communicative behaviour, formulating spatial gestures, to which we respond as users with our own figures of movement. The relationship between photography and architecture and vice versa is recurring theme in Almut Hilf’s practice. She has developed an architectural method that brings both media into mutual discourse. Hilf works with an analogue collage technique, photographing architecture in a few concentrated takes and refining with photocopies of those images and set pieces. The resulting image tableaux printed and reproduced in high definition gain the status of monolithic planes, as it was determined by the photograph at the very beginning and recall the stillness of the architectural spaces. Viewing the images is distinctive for its roaming movement. It does not stand still; spatial situations arise again and again in the eye of the viewer. The spatial situations seem to approach the viewer according to the formal composition—sometimes as mobile boundaries and oppositions, sometimes as companions or shelters. The images challenge the viewer to reflect on his own position in space, to question the layers of perception, and to open up his mind to new interpretations.

1st prize (Photograhy)



Almut Hilf studied art history at Karlsruhe University, photography in the field of contemporary art with Peter Piller at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig, and photography at the Hamburg Academy of Art with Silke Großmann and Katharina Gaenssler. Her work focuses on how architectural themes can be combined with photography, and vice versa.