Böhm Tradecenter & Empty Shops

The German duo, Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber, came together in 1999 to launch Frau Böhm, a magazine dedicated to artistic photography. Since then, the duo has been working together on various projects. In their individual artistic endeavours, their speciality lies in confronting each others work to create additional frameworks for interpretation. Katja Stuke’s current work uses video images that features people in brief, isolated moments and anonymous situations. Oliver Sieber’s work concentrates on portraits and architectural photography that illustrate people in their domestic surroundings. During the first week of PHotoEspaña en la Calle, will host the Böhm Handelszentrum»» (The Böhm Trade Center), a project presenting the work of this duo in a trading container located in the Plaza de Santa Ana. Moritz Neumüller, PhotoEspaña 2005, Guide

Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber: The Böhm Trade Center/Empty Shops It all began when the two artists where looking for a project space in Düsseldorf, the city they live and work, for their artistic photography project they had founded in 1999 with the sonourous name Die Böhm. They where considering an old commercial site in the sity center that appeared to offer them an appropriate framework for their Böhm Megastore. This space was to house an temporary gallery with the work of both artist, not only as asubtle parody on the art market, but also as an effective way of presenting to the public the original photographs appearing in Frau Böhm quarterly publication. It was then that they noticed the empty commercial premises for the first time. In addition to the deplorablestate of these abandoned shops, what was most depressing was the almost impossible task of involving the owners in their art project, when locigally they should have been interested in rehabilitating these shops. That was wehen Katja Stuke decided to study this phenomenon, which she has sensed for years, in an empirical fashion […]
The Festival presents the new Böhm Handelszentrum project (The Böhm Trade Center), which both photographers have prepared for PhotoEspaña en la Calle. A space is created in Madrid where the two artists show their individual and join project and where they also can interact with the Madrid scene. Jus as in the Böhm Megastore, a direct connection is established between the artistic theme and real. Although the chance in purchase behaviour that has caused the empty store phenomenon in Germany is still not seen in the center of Madrid dozends of hypermarkets have sprung up on the outskirts of the city. The existence of a dehumanised urban center with an irreversible exodus of retail shops due to Internet stores and shopping malls can also come to affect us. Moritz Neumüller