Jörg Koopmann – Born in Brennen

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Taking its cue from a recent Patti Smith concert where the singer’s malapropism resulted In associations of burning, light, and combustion
(“born in bremen” results in born in brennen), Koopman’s second monograph explores the critical and humane conditions existing between the poles of protest and routine in a globalized landscape. Photographs document hastily improvised crowd control barricades and security reinforcements, frumpy camouflage draped over doorways and stairwells, sullen protestors and armored troops at global summits.
Shot between 2001 and 2009, born in brennen features photographic essays. Shot across the globe, punctuated by conversations, fragments, and correspondence with a number of contemporaries. Through a series of neologisms suggested by the book’s subtitle — “architecture of anxiety, camouflage, demoland, discobedience, placed” — a final chapter of intimate black-and-white concert portraits are linked to earlier demonstrations of dissent and resistance, but never explicitly valorized. Indeed, instead of asserting over-determined connections between crowd action, performance, and resistance, koopman’s photographs register a pervasive ambiguity— a sense of confusion, displacement, and inconsistency.

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