September 18 – November 22, 2015
FORUM 037: Marc Beckmann – Anniversaries

The fourth 2015 Forum exhibition features “Anniversaries” by Berlin photographer Marc Beckmann. Beckmann launched this long-term project in 2004 to cast a spotlight on public commemorations in Germany, Europe and throughout the world.

Beckmann has photographed the anniversaries of historical events such as the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, the Prague Spring, D-Day and the Srebrenica massacre, to name but a few. On occasion, these days of collective remembrance serve as a stark reminder not to repeat the same mistakes as in the past, at other times they are charged with patriotic feeling. These commemorations provide nations, religious groups and professions with the opportunity to gain greater public visibility and debate their respective interpretations of history.

In this work, Beckmann transcends both national and temporal boundaries. Some of the events he covers – such as the Arab Spring in Egypt – are but a few years old, while others occurred so long ago that no witnesses of those times remain alive today.

“Anniversaries” examines the ways in which history is recounted, enacted and collectively remembered. These memorial days that Marc Beckmann’s photography singles out are often very high-profile events, with huge media coverage. Yet, while the focus of official media reports tends to fall on great statesmen and women or the huge crowds flocking to the commemorations, Beckmann’s photographs home in on what is happening on the fringes of these mass events – the tranquil moments when individuals take time out and step back from what is happening in the wider group.

Les Témoins de l‘Histoire, 95th anniversary of the Battle of Verdun, Douaumont 2011 © Marc Beckmann
Potocari, 16th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, Potocari 2011 © Marc Beckmann
Veterans at Belorrusky Station, 60th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe, Moscow 2005, © Marc Beckmann
Tehran, 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Tehran 2009 © Marc Beckmann

Biography

Marc Beckmann was born in Peru in 1978 and grew up in Germany. He now lives and works in Berlin. He completed his studies in photography in 2006 at the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, where he was taught by Professor Roman Bezjak. He is a member of the Ostkreuz photography agency and works as a freelance photographer for magazines including “Stern”, “Geo”, “Du”, “Brigitte” and “Neon”.

His work has been shown at various exhibitions and festivals. His “Anniversaries” project won the “C/O Talents Award”.