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The Moment is Eternity

Press release


The Moment is Eternity

Diane Arbus, Brassai, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Larry Clark, Rineke Dijkstra, Albrecht Dürer, William Eggleston, Ed van der Elsken, Lee Friedlander, André Gelpke, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Carl Robert Kummer, Nicholas Nixon, Press Photography, Gerhard Richter, Thomas Ruff, August Sander, Cindy Sherman, Giorgio Sommer, Otto Steinert, Wolfgang Tillmans, Vernacular Photography, Wunderkammer objects, et al.


Curated by Annette Kicken

The Moment is Eternity Works from the Olbricht Collection.  The Moment is Eternity shines the spotlight on the photographic works in the Olbricht Collection and shows them in dialogue with other artworks from the collection as well as artefacts in the Wunderkammer.  

The artist Henri Cartier-Bresson coined the term ‘the decisive moment’, a fleeting moment to which the camera lends permanence and captures the essence of a situation, person, or place. In photographic form, this captured moment in the flow of time is marked simultaneously by a sense of transience and timelessness. For us, the moment is the only perceptible slice of eternity –   for as Goethe wrote: ‘the moment is eternity’ (Der Augenblick ist Ewigkeit).  

Against this backdrop, the exhibition explores such themes as beauty and sensuality, growth and the passage through life, the body and society. These transcend all epochs and media and reveal the essence of the human condition over centuries. The sheer breadth of the Olbricht Collection offers an array of perspectives on these themes, ranging from Albrecht Dürer to historical X-ray photographs, from August Sander’s typologies to Cindy Sherman’s fictional self-portraits.