Tongkonan, Alang and the House without smoke
Houses for the Living and the Dead
Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia
Photographs by Ursula Schulz-Dornburg

Aedes am Pfefferberg
Christinenstr. 18/19, 10625 Berlin

25.10. - 27.11.2008

Tel.: 030-2827015
Tue-Fri 11-18:30 .
Sat, Sun 13-17

© Ursula Schulz-Dornburg








Ursula Schulz-Dornburg’s photographs of residences, rice storage buildings, and houses for the dead in Toraja in the mountains of Sulawesi in Indonesia awaken yearnings that cannot be put into words. Perhaps such feelings are evoked by the primal need – continually thematized by this photographer – for a dwelling, a home. Uninfluenced by colonial developments in this country, and going beyond their protective functions, such buildings are stamped by a symbolism that encompasses the entire cosmos. ‮‬‮‬‮‬‮‬‮‬

And even if her gaze avoids stylizing such buildings into monuments, instead always embedding them into their village and landscape settings, Ursula Schulz-Dornburg nonetheless succeeds in capturing both the beauty of this so-called anonymous architecture, its assertive potency and distinctive cultural import.

"Residential buildings, rice storage facilities, and houses for the dead stand there like spaceships that have just landed. Stranded amidst rampant vegetation, yet ready to lift off at any moment, serviced and brought to life by people who are unhurried because they perceive both great things in small in their proper context." (Peter Kammerer)

Through these images, we realize that such houses for the living and for the dead can be created only through community. We also become aware of the dangers faced by human individuals in their environments, the way in which cultural identity is too often threatened by political and economic pressures.

This photographer’s tranquil black-and-white images elude the hurried glance. To absorb them means to open oneself to new encounters and experiences – to places of residence and ritual, to nature, to beauty, to vulnerability, and to the ephemeral.

The works of Ursula Schulz-Dornburg are known through numerous publications and exhibitions in Europe (Museum Ludwig, Cologne, etc.) and in the US (Art Institute Chicago, etc.), and have received international recognition. The artist lives in Düsseldorf.

An exhibition in the framework of the European Month of Photography, Berlin: www.mdf-berlin.de

For further information and illustrative material on the exhibition, please contact Beate Engelhorn: be@aedes-arc.de

Speakers at the opening are:
Kristin Feireiss, Aedes Berlin
Prof. Dr. Ing. Günther Uhlig, Karlsruhe






© Ursula Schulz-Dornburg