Seiichi Furuya: “Where the Truth Lies” / “Wo die Wahrheit liegt”


At the focus of Seiichi Furuya’s photographic oeuvre is his personal confrontation with boundaries – boundaries of recollection, of perception and of the medium of photography, politico-geographic barriers and existential borderline situations in his own life.

The years between 1981 and 1983 saw the creation of the series “Staatsgrenze”, in which Furuya photographed the border between Austria and the Eastern Bloc states. Originating from Japan, where the border is naturally defined by the sea, he is interested in borders that lead straight through the country’s middle, sometimes invisible but nevertheless separating people, cultures and ideologies from one another. While the global public concentrated mainly on the inner-German demarcation, Furuya recorded the border areas with Hungary, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, thereby creating a political and at the same time personal document of contemporary history.

Seiichi Furuya moved over to the GDR with his family in 1984; he lived there until 1987. Curated by Susanne Weiß, the exhibition presents a comprehensive selection of portrayals of his wife Christine, of whom he took regular portraits from 1978 until her suicide in 1985. The results are highly personal shots which, after Christine’s death, he rearranged and combined in his photo books, the “Mémoires”, as a manifestation of his memories. An archive, taking on ever-changing forms, was created.

“Zu Hause in Ost-Berlin”, the third series, which can be seen at the Kunstverein, shows – like “Staatsgrenze” – images from a world which no longer exists in that form. A slide installation translates the photographs into rhythmic cross-fades and hence into a continuously changing story. The exhibition title “Wo die Wahrheit liegt” stands as a synonym of the artist’s search for answers to questions to which there are no clear answers.

Seiichi Furuya: “Where the Truth Lies” / “Wo die Wahrheit liegt”
Saturday, 30.08.2014, 7pm

Book presentation and a talk with the artist: Seiichi Furuya in conversation with Thomas Schirmböck (director of Zephyr Space for Photography, ReissEngelhornMuseen Mannheim)
Heidelberger Kunstverein – Hauptstr. 97, D-69117 Heidelberg

Seiichi Furuya
(*1950 in Izu, Japan) left Japan in 1973. In 1980 he was co-founder of the magazine “Camera Austria”; today he lives and works mainly in Graz.
To accompany the exhibition the artist’s book “Staatsgrenze 1981 – 1983” was published at Spector Books Leipzig in spring 2014, 30 years after the photographs’ creation. The publication is available at the Kunstverein for 24 Euro.
The exhibition is taking place in partnership with Kunsthaus Dresden and the Society of Contemporary Art, Leipzig, and will be on show there in spring 2015 along with other programmatic focuses.