In the solo exhibition COMEBACK, the photographer and artist Tim Bruening (*1983) embarks on a personal journey through the eccentric world of film from Hollywood to Cannes and back to his home town of Oldenburg.
In COMEBACK, individual groups of works condense into cinematic collages, portraits of well-known actors and actresses correspond with partly concrete, partly abstract landscapes to form completely independent chains of associations that question the usual patterns of observation and encourage the viewer's gaze to new readings: a celebration of the imagination, the fascination of storytelling and its potential to make even the impossible possible.
Tim Bruening is characterised by his very own aesthetic, which can best be described as a snapshot: instantaneous, spontaneous and very close to the supposed object of desire. In the process, he creates unique portraits that are immortalised in his photography, born at the moment of the situation. The photographs oscillate between appearance and reality and deliberately play with the authenticity factor in the film industry, where it is simply part of the business that private and business seem to be inextricably interwoven, that one is part of a big family.
In Bruening's photographs, however, family is not only symbolically represented, but in the person of grandma Elsbeth, the actual star of the exhibition. She slips into legendary roles, dresses up as Joaquin Phoenix's "Joker", reanimates Uma Thurman in "Kill Bill", embodies the classic Hollywood topos as a cowboy and makes Clint Eastwood appear in the mind's eye.
Bruening takes the game to the extreme by presenting video interviews in the exhibition in which Hollywood stars make statements and personal greetings about the successful comeback - or even address Grandma Elsbeth. The selection and composition of the photographs in relation to each other creates a narrative all of its own; documentary street scenes of New York are given a cinematic charge. Photographs of landscapes in the form of wallpaper form a final visual layer as background noise and backdrop against which the very own narrative plays out.
In a humorous way, Bruening manages to hold up a mirror to the spectacle, glorifying and demystifying the film industry with a wink, and putting his own return to the roots and the obviously proclaimed COMEBACK in perspective.