Living in Cologne is not exactly optimal for someone who is into photography because most museums in Cologne are dedicated to ancient history and especially the Romans. So I’m already used to traveling elsewhere when I feel like going to a museum. Düsseldorf is fortunately not far away and regularly has very interesting photo exhibitions. When I read about the upcoming Wolfgang Tillmans exhibition, I decided to go and see it. But I never really got around to it. After already being extended, it is going to close next weekend, so for me that meant “now or never”.
The exhibition is located in the K21 Ständehaus in Düsseldorf, a beautiful building with a long history. It was used as the parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia until 1988 and after that converted to a museum for contemporary art. I don’t like taking photos of the photos in an exhibition, so I took some architecture photos inside the building. What I really love about this museum is that they allow photography and give you a little “photo permission” sticker at the ticket office. Although I don’t understand why you need that sticker, it’s free and you don’t have to sign anything so they could just let everybody take photos.
The top floor currently houses the installation “in orbit” by Tomás Saraceno, which was unfortunately closed because it took some damage from the extreme heat that has beleaguered Germany for the past couple of months. Still, the giant mirroring sphere and many nets looked fascinating from below.
Large white walls and a glass roof made the museum’s interior very bright and almost dictated a high key look for the photos. Almost all I had to do while processing the pictures was reduce the color saturation for all but the most dominant colors and increase the contrast in a way that pushed most of the photo towards white while also retaining some black areas. It is a look that I haven’t really used before, but I’m happy with it so I might further experiment with it in the future.