A space completely filled with passport photos. Like a human mosaic that is made out of hundreds of individual portraits. The people in the pictures are German immigrants, representing the face of a generation.
Approximately 16.3 million German citizens have an immigrant background. The number of illegal immigrants trying to get to Germany (since the reunification) is on a record high. Authorities have been struggling to provide accommodation for refugees, and the debate over immigration has grown increasingly polarized.
This installation engages viewers on several levels by making reference to Germany’s immigrant history in the wake of the Second World War and how this initial influx shaped the changing face of the German population. It also engages on the current issues around cultural diversity and immigration which are (and will undoubtedly continue to remain) sensitive and complicated topics in contemporary Germany’s social and cultural discourse.
Einwanderer is Part of the collective exhibition “Mit Anderen Augen – Das Porträt in der Zeitgenössischen Fotografie” (With Different Eyes – The portrait in Contemporary Photography) taking place at the Kunstmuseum in Bonn from the 25th of February to the 8th of May 2016 and organised jointly by the Kunstmuseum from Bonn and the Photographischen Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur from Cologne
Together with this exhibition Erik Kessels designed a floor mat. This typical home-welcoming item invites viewers and visitors to “greet immigrants home” (“Bitte begrüsse einwanderer zuhause mit dieser fussmatte”).