How heavy is Europe? How heavy is the burden of history? How difficult will the future be?
These are the questions posed by Patrick Bienert’s photographs, in his latest project East End of Europe. He is an inconspicuous man and observer, who almost disappears behind his camera, so that the energy of the model and the surroundings flow not towards him, but towards his camera lens. Bienert has always travelled around Georgia, a remote country on the fringes of Europe, in search of its identity. A country that, for all its rich and unique history, still seems somewhat lost in the present. The formidable faces Patrick Bienert found there are full of pride and archaic beauty, yet every cheek appears as if brushed by a breeze of futility. As Hartmut Böhme once wrote, “Time works as forgetting against remembering”, and we can see how Bienert is looking to overcome Böhme’s philosophy, capturing the preciousness of the moment — so that it doesn’t get lost.Florian Illies
Patrick Bienert was born in 1980 in Munich, where he studied photography. He is exploring ideas around concepts of cultures and identity grounded on the heritage of street and documentary photography. Between his personal projects, he works on commissions in the field of fashion. At the end of 2017 he released the book Wake Up Nights about the young nightlife culture in Kiev, Ukraine.
His photographic projects have been exhibited at the Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Fotografie Salon, Berlin, Calvert 22 Foundation, London, Amphithéâtre de Carthage, Tunis, Ngorongoro, Berlin, Republic Square, Tbilisi, Ofr Galerie, Paris, Webber Gallery, London and the Store Studios, London. Editorial commissions have been published in Paper Journal, Double Magazine, AnOther Magazine, Dazed & Confused, Pop, Re-Edition, Purple, Arena Homme Plus, Vogue Italia, Zeit Magazin and The New York Times Magazine.
East End of Europe is published by Kahl Editions and can be purchased here.