Herbert Hoffmann and No Fear of Fainting in a Gym at Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen

Artists: Herbert Hoffmann, Louisa Gagliardi, Ebecho Muslimova, Tabita Rezaire, Anna Uddenberg

Exhibition titles: It’s itching again under the fur / No Fear of Fainting in a Gym

Venue: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gallen, Switzerland

Date: January 27 – March 25, 2018

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists, Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

At the beginning of 2018 Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen is simultaneously showing a monographic photo exhibition of Herbert Hoffmann and a group exhibition of international artists with the title «No Fear of Fainting in a Gym». The common denominator of both projects is the interest of all the participat-ing artists in the human body as source material and projection surface.

The legendary tattooist Herbert Hoffmann (1919-2010) lived for three decades in Heiden/AR (Switzerland), where he also passed away. He did not only leave his mark on Eastern Switzerland but all over the world as a true cult figure in the tattoo scene during his lifetime. It is less well-known that Hoffmann was active as a photographer and left wonderful portraits of people he had tattooed. With more than a hundred works Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen is devoting what is so far the most comprehensive museum exhibition to the artist Herbert Hoffmann. Besides known portraits of his clients and accomplices, for the first time some works and documents are on show which make apparent Hoffmann’s precise photographic approach as well as his interest in the stories of those he portrayed, which he also recorded on paper. Hoffmann’s work therefore does not only create a highly aestheti-cised and poetic view of tattooed people but also an impressive picture of a generation.

In dialogue with Herbert Hoffmann’s retrospective the group exhibition «No Fear of Fainting in a Gym» is showing works by international female artists who take as their central theme the body, parts of it or even its absence and thereby stimulate a critical encounter with its present-day perception and the use of it. In the works on show there is a mixture of self portrayal and phantasms, grotesque humour and the uncanny, real limits of the physical and the virtual possibilities of new technologies. The exhibition is characterised by the use of the widest range of media such as mural (Ebecho Muslimova, *1984, Russia), inkjet print on PVC (Louisa Gagliardi, *1989, Switzerland), sculpture (Anna Uddenberg, *1982, Sweden) and video (Tabita Rezaire, *1989, France). The artists manage both to ex-plore technical limits and to open a space between the poles of the gro-tesque and figuration. «No Fear of Fainting in a Gym» consciously promotes the female view on the topic and makes an important contribution to current discussions.

Herbert Hoffmann (*1919 in Chociwel/PL — formerly Freienwalde/D, †2010 in Heiden/AR, Switzerland) served an apprenticeship as a retail salesman be-fore he was conscripted to the Reich Labour Service. He served in Russia during the war from 1941 to 1945. In 1949 he returned to Germany after in-ternment near Riga/LVA. From 1961 he ran his own tattoo studio near the Hamburg Reeperbahn. In 1980 he retired to Switzerland where he lived until his death with his partner Jakob Anker. www.herbert-hoffmann.ch

Louisa Gagliardi (*1989 in Sion/CH), lives and works in Zurich.

Ebecho Muslimova (*1984 in Dagestan/RUS), lives and works in New York.

Tabita Rezaire (*1989 in Paris/FR), lives and works in Johannesburg.

Anna Uddenberg (*1982 in Stockholm/SE), lives and works in Berlin.

Ebecho Muslimova, Fatebe Big Foot, 2018
. Courtesy: the artist. Anna Uddenberg, Journey of Self Discovery, 2016. Courtesy: the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Ebecho Muslimova, Fatebe Big Foot, 2018
. Courtesy: the artist. Anna Uddenberg, Journey of Self Discovery, 2016. Courtesy: the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Ebecho Muslimova, Fatebe Big Foot, 2018
. Courtesy: the artist. Anna Uddenberg, Journey of Self Discovery, 2016. Courtesy: the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Ebecho Muslimova, Fatebe Big Foot, 2018
. Courtesy: the artist. Anna Uddenberg, Journey of Self Discovery, 2016. Courtesy: the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Louisa Gagliardi, Thicker Than Water, 2018; Stacked, 2015; Double Trouble, 2018. Courtesy Thicker Than Water: the artist, Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels and Collection Beverly Allan. Courtesy Stacked and Double Trouble: the artist and Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Anna Uddenberg, Journey of Self Discovery, 2016. Courtesy: the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Louisa Gagliardi, Stacked, 2015; Double Trouble, 2018. Courtesy: the artist and Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Tabita Rezaire, Peaceful Warrior, 2015. Courtesy: the artist and Goodman Gallery, South Africa. Anna Uddenberg, Twin Generators and Upgraded Tender, 2017; Cozy Stabilization Unit, 2017. Courtesy: the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Anna Uddenberg, Twin Generators and Upgraded Tender, 2017; Cozy Stabilization Unit, 2017. Courtesy: the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Anna Uddenberg, Cozy Stabilization Unit, 2017. Courtesy: the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Louisa Gagliardi, Thicker Than Water, 2018; Stacked 2015. Courtesy Thicker Than Water: the artist, Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels and Collection Beverly Allan. Courtesy Stacked: the artist and Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Tabita Rezaire, Peaceful Warrior, 2015. Courtesy: the artist and Goodman Gallery, South Africa. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Tabita Rezaire, Peaceful Warrior, 2015. Courtesy: the artist and Goodman Gallery, South Africa

Herbert Hoffmann, exhibition view «Es juckt schon wieder unter dem Fell», 2018. Courtesy: Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Herbert Hoffmann, exhibition view «Es juckt schon wieder unter dem Fell», 2018. Courtesy: Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Herbert Hoffmann, exhibition view «Es juckt schon wieder unter dem Fell», 2018. Courtesy: Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Herbert Hoffmann, exhibition view «Es juckt schon wieder unter dem Fell», 2018. Courtesy: Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Index cards with silver gelatine prints and texts by Herbert Hoffmann, approx. 1950–1977. Courtesy: Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Index cards with silver gelatine prints and texts by Herbert Hoffmann, approx. 1950–1977. Courtesy: Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Index cards with silver gelatine prints and texts by Herbert Hoffmann, approx. 1950–1977. Courtesy: Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Herbert Hoffmann, Franz Kockartz, 1976; Franz Kockartz, 1957; Dr. med. H.-Joachim Ludwig, 1965; Dr. med. H.-Joachim Ludwig, 1965. Courtesy: Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Herbert Hoffmann, Franz Kockartz, 1957; Dr. med. H.-Joachim Ludwig, 1965. Courtesy: Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden. Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier

Herbert Hoffmann, Dr. Umhauer (Dold), approx. 1968. Courtesy: Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden

Herbert Hoffmann, Jakob Acker, 1961
. Courtesy: Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden

Herbert Hoffmann, Matrosen vom kanadischen Flugzeugträger ”BUENA VENTURA” (Flottenbesuch in Hamburg), 1965
. Courtesy: Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden

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