This is the debut exhibition of photographs by the German-American photographer Jessica Backhaus.
Photographed between 2001 and 2005 in Netno, a small village in Western Pomerania, Poland, Backhaus has made an affectionate portrait of the domestic interiors of this tiny rural community, revealing the central importance of faith and food in the lives of the inhabitants.
Backhaus photographs neat, brightly-colored living rooms and the remnants of meals partaken to provide an intimate look at this modest provincial lifestyle. Dealing with time and change, the photographs are a documentation of both the political and social upheaval that occurred after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but changes have come slowly to this part of Europe where living rooms are dominated by religious paintings, hand crocheted afghans and doilies as well as ancestral portraits. Various kinds of status symbols are embraced by the different generations, from the western rock posters plastered on a teenager’s bedroom wall to the full-scale electric refrigerator proudly displayed in the parent’s living room.
Backhaus was born in Cuxhaven, Germany and currently resides in New York. Her work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Europe and the United States including the National Portrait Gallery, London and the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin. A fully illustrated monograph, published by Kehrer Verlag, accompanies the exhibition.