August 30 – December 6, 2021
How much can we control the past within us? Against the background of the biographies of my grandparents Irmgard Adam and Fritz Konrad I am concerned with the phenomenon of transgenerational traumatization researched in epigenetics. What is meant is the passing on of individually experienced traumas, which continue to have an effect over several years and which can reveal themselves in the self-image, in the emotional experience, in the unconscious action of future generations. I ask myself the accompanying questions: What does this mean for our generation and its descendants, what does it mean for myself? How much trauma experience of our ancestors is still in us today? How important it is to know the biographies of our grandparents better? Inspired by the confrontation with my own identity, I came across photographs, letters, documents and interviews, traveled together with my mother to fateful places in my grandparents life. As grandson I opened the small box of Irmgard Konrad’s memories: her fears, despair and loneliness keep the indescribable drama awake, but also her positive attitude to life, her social skills, her love and her tireless fight against fascism are part of the family memory and a reminding legacy at the same time. Raufaser is a photographic case study that uses own documentary photography and archival material to investigate my ancestors history. With this body of work, I want to raise awareness of how the aftermath of war and crisis can affect the generations that follow, and examine how collective memory is shaped and influenced. Creating a new sense of identity by confronting with himself with the past, spanning four generations, provides the basis for a detailed investigation of postmemory, mental health, war and history. Raufaser is a certainly a very personal story, however for me it is inseparably interwoven with our collective history as germans.
“It can’t have been experienced by a single person,” my grandmother sums up in a video interview for the Moses Mendelssohn Center in Potsdam in the mid-1990s. I have often heard her say this sentence. My grandmother was one of the few Holocaust survivors who were able and willing to talk about it. With her children and even more with her grandchildren. So there was a lot that was not new to me, which she told historians as well as many young people up to a ripe old age. Born in 1915 in Breslau, Silesia, politicized in the socialist youth movement, active in resistance against the Nazis, she survived the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, almost two years of forced labor for Siemens in the Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp, and the “death march” thanks to the solidarity of other prisoners. After the liberation of the village of Kritzow in Mecklenburg by the Red Army, my grandmother went to France, hoping to find members of her family there. In Paris, she experienced for the first time again what a life in freedom feels like, only clouded by the uncertainty about the fate of her childhood love Fritz. Back in Germany in 1947 and finally reunited with him again after five years of separation, they both married a little later in Leipzig and had a daughter, my mother, in 1948. Now I am looking for traces of their eventful life, with its incredibly difficult but also beautiful times. I look for them on the outside and I look for them on the inside, deep inside me. I am interested in the phenomenon of transgenerational traumatisation, which is researched in epigenetics, i.e. the passing on of individually experienced traumas that continue to have an effect over several years and that can reveal themselves in self-image, in emotional experience, in the unconscious actions of subsequent generations. How important is it to know the biographies of our grandparents more precisely? Inspired by the confrontation with my own identity, I come across photographs, letters, documents and interviews and finally travel with my mother to fateful places in her life. On the journeys, the pictures find me, I hold on to them. As a grandson I open the boxes of my grandmother’s memories and live through her fears, despair and loneliness. They kept the indescribable drama alive for many decades. But my box of memories is also marked by her boundless love, her positive attitude towards life, her social competence, her tireless fight for humanism, against fascism and war.
Daniel Seiffert was born in 1980. Before studying photography at Ostkreuz School for Photography in Berlin, he earned a Master ’s degree in Political Science, Communication and African Studies from universities in Berlin, Potsdam and Lisbon.
Among others, Seiffert received the prestigous C/O Talents Award, Canon Award for Young Professional Photographers and has been nominated for international FOAM Paul Huf Award.
His work was widely exhibited internationally like C/O Berlin, ParisPHOTO, PhotoEspana. His self-published book “Kraftwerk Jugend” was shortlisted for the Dummy Award of 5th International Photobook Award Kassel and has been part of book shows at Le Bal Paris and at the Brighton Photo Biennial.
Since 2017 he is part of the artist colletive Apparat.
As a father of two daughters he currently lives and works as a freelance photographer and picture editor in his hometown Berlin on commissioned and personal projects.
Daniel Seiffert was a finalist for the Griffin Museum of Photography’s Chervinsky Award 2020
Awards / Grants
2020 Athens Photo Festival, Shortlist
2019 Finalist Emergentes Award, Festival Encontros da Imagem, Braga, Portugal
2019 Finalist Portraits – Hellerau Photography Award
2018 Kolga Photo Award, Shortlist Documentary Photo Project
2015 LensCulture Emerging Talent Award
2014 Grant Stiftung Kulturwerk VG Bild-Kunst
2014 Grant HAUS am KLEISTPARK
2013 selected for CIRCULATION(S) Festival de la jeune photographie europeenne, Paris
2012 selected for Emergentes | DST 2012 Award, Festival Encontros da Imagem Braga, Portugal 2012 C/O Berlin Talents 28 Award
2012 Nomination for FOAM Paul Huf Award
2012 Kassel Photobook Dummy Award 2012, Shortlist
2009 Canon Profifoto Förderpreis 1/09 for CTRL – Research Surveillance
2005 ASA working grant, Images Davida, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
2020Guardas de Miramar, Festival Encontros da Imagem, Braga, Portugal
2019 Raufaser, “Die Anderen Sind Wir. Bilder einer dissonanten Gesellschaft”, Museum of Modern Art, BLMK Cottbus 2019 Guardas de Miramar, “Portraits – Hellerau Photography Award”, Pumpenhaus Dresden
2018 Trabanten, “Sharing Space(s)”, feldfünf Metropolenhaus, Monat der Fotografie OFF, Berlin
2018 Trabanten, Kolga Tbilisi Photo Award, Georgia
2018 Trabanten, „Keep your Eyes peeled”, Gallery Weekend, aff Galerie Berlin
2017 Trabanten, „Ein Tag in Berlin – 30 Jahre danach“, Fotogalerie Friedrichshain
2017 Kraftwerk Jugend, Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie, Quebec/Canada
2017 Trabanten, Festival Internacional de Fotografia de Viseu, Portugal
2017 Keep your eyes peeled, Gallery Weekend Berlin, AFF Gallery, Berlin
2015 Kraftwerk Jugend, European Month of Photography, Goethe Institut, Minsk, Belarus
2015 LensCulture Emerging Talents 2015, San Francisco Camerawork Gallery, USA
2014 Exhibition Photography Grant Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Galerie Haus am Kleistpark, Berlin
2013 Kraftwerk Jugend, “Tracks and Traces – C/O Talents”, ParisPHOTO, Goethe Institut Paris, France
2013 Uncertain Futures, exhibition of international photography, Gallery of Photography Dublin, Ireland
2013 C/O Talents 2012, Abbeye de Neumunster, Luxembourg
2013 Tracks and Traces – C/O Berlin Talents, PHotoEspaña, Goethe Institut Madrid
2013 Screening, CIRCULATION(S), Lodz Fotofestiwal, Poland
2013 CIRCULATION(S) Festival de la jeune photographie europeenne, Parc de Bagatelle, Paris 2012 Tulca Festival of Visual Art Galway, Ireland
2012 Brighton Photo Biennial / Photobookshow
2012 Kraftwerk Jugend, C/O Talents 28, Postfuhramt, Berlin
2012 Kammerspiel, F’Stop Festival, Leipzig
2012 Photobook Dummy Award 2012. F’Stop Festival, Leipzig
2012 Photobook Dummy Award 2012. Le Bal, Paris
2012 5. Jahrgang Ostkreuzschule, Galerie Büchergilde Frankfurt/Main
2012 Kraftwerk Jugend, Galerie Sprechsaal, Berlin
2012 Photo 12 – Werkschau für Fotografie, Screening, Zürich, Schweiz
2011 SCHAU. Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie. Klasse Ute Mahler, Berlin
2011 Das Geheimnis bleibt. Modefotografie von Ute Mahler und Schülern, Halle/Saale
2011 STRG K Choreographie einer Stadt, Forum Factory, Gallery Weekend, Berlin
2011 Klopfzeichen, Unikum, Klagenfurt, Österreich
2010 Trennungen/Seperazione/Locevanje, Villach, Österreich
2010 Canon Profifoto Förderpreis, Visual Gallery, Photokina Köln
2010 Geschichts Codes 2010/Einheitsbild, ARD Hauptstadtstudio, Berlin
2007 Close Up! Junge Fotojournalisten auf der 57. Berlinale, C/O Berlin
2006 Imagens Davida, Hotel Nicacio, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil