The exhibition "Golden Hearts" presents two important photographic series: Sibylle Bergemann’s "Clärchens Ballhaus" (1976) and Martin Parr’s "Yates’s Wine Lodges" (1983). Artistically distinct, these series, which use the photographers’ respective surroundings as their backdrop, document the relationship between individuals and their society. Firmly anchored in everyday culture, the places pictured in these series – the pub, the café, and the dance hall – are sites of complex social encounters. In them, the photographers capture geniality, joviality, and amusement together with dreariness, distraction and isolation, and use their cameras to show that political systems and social structures often determine one another as well as transform the ways of life and expression of the people within their culture.
In 1976, Bergemann photographed patrons in the Clärchens Ballhaus, a dance hall that had been popular since its establishment in 1895, in Mitte. Franz Biberkopf in Alfred Döblin’s "Berlin Alexanderplatz" (1929) sought out pleasure there, and during the GDR times, the dance hall was a meeting place for Berliners not only from different social backgrounds, but also from different parts of the divided city. At the time, West Berliners were able to enter East Berlin with a day visa and had to leave by midnight; they could, however, return that same evening, which many of them did, to continue dancing. Clärchens Ballhaus was published for the first time – as far as we are aware – in “Berlin – Hauptstadt der DDR: Ein Reiseverführer” (Greifenverlag) in 1987 and included in “Ostzeit” at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and “Sibylle Bergemann: Eine retrospektive Werkschau” at the Reinbeckhallen, exhibitions that took place respectively in Berlin in 2009 and 2017. Loock Galerie will present this series for the first time with never before seen photographs taken by Bergemann.
Several years later, Martin Parr photographed the oldest chain of British pubs, Yates’s Wine Lodges in northern England. Its founder, Peter Yates (1854-1944), claimed that “moderation is true abstinence.” His goal was to make Australian wine known in the UK and, at the same time, to sell whole grain flour, canned sardines, and tea, thereby providing the working class with healthy food options. When Parr photographed the pubs in 1983 most of their interiors were Victorian. Their popularity dwindled in the early 1990s and after the chain was taken over by the Laurel Pub Company in 2005 and expanded throughout the UK, the pubs had all but lost their original style. Yates’s Wine Lodges was published by Cafe Royal Books in 2016 (500 photobooks were printed) and will be shown for the first time outside the UK in the Loock Gallery in 2018.
Works by Sibylle Bergemann belong to the following private and public collections: Art Collection Deutsche Börse, Frankfurt; Berlinische Galerie, Berlin; Centre Régional de la Photographie Nord Pas-de-Calais; Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne; Museum of Modern Art, New York; DZ Bank, Frankfurt am Main; Sammlung F. C. Gundlach, Hamburg; JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, New York; Pinakothek der Moderne, München; Sprengel Museum, Hannover; and the Tate Modern, London.
Works by Martin Parr belong to the following public collections: Getty Museum, Malibu; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Museum Folkwang, Essen; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Sprengel Museum, Hannover; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Tate Modern, London.