Pola Sieverding

The Epic

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Pola Sieverding
The Epic

Ed. Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, text(s) by Ben Kaufmann, Michael Kohtes, Kirsten Maar

German, English

2018. 96 pp., 56 ills.

hardcover

19.50 x 26.50 cm

ISBN 978-3-7757-4412-6

More than a simple exchange of blows: the drama of victory and defeat captured in unique photographs

Pola Sieverding’s (*1981, Düsseldorf) book The Epic is based on her eponymous exhibition of two groups of works, ARENA and The Epic, at the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein in 2016. The images—or rather, presentations—of bodies from the worlds of wrestling and boxing materialize here in contrasting lights and darks; they are emphasized by the play of light on skin, which makes it possible to see musculature beneath. In the performance of the presentation and exhibition, the fleshy quality of the bodies becomes the actual event. It is not the fight itself, but its visual characteristics, which make it possible to understand the drama of victory or defeat in an instant. Sieverding’s camera seems to thread its way directly in between the combatants, allowing viewers to play the role of the medium; emotions are not situated solely in our gaze—but rather, our body also negotiates the repertory of affects.

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