Ricoh Gerbl - Pictures, Art, Photography

Ricoh Gerbl

Background Information about Ricoh Gerbl


How does a street determine where a person should go? Can I recognize from the constellations of a group of people how close the individuals are to each other? How can I, by erasing the details of a context, gain access to a purely associative space? How can I achieve the development of “complete” pictures in spite of this omission and elimination of place-specific and social information, and in spite of overexposing the pictures? With her photographs of bright cities, constellations of people and situations from the series “From Monday to Sunday,” Berlin artist Ricoh Gerbl presents us with minimalist views in which “light itself” seems to paint and where her vocabulary of visual signs is reduced to the absolute minimum necessary.

Couples, passersby

At first glance, Ricoh Gerbl's new work suggests its title - describing what is in sight. But what is seen and what has been seen belong in two different categories. Simply put, a differentiation can be made between the act of perception and the memory of this act. However, the difference only exists by default, because what we see is being stored in the form of a mental image. Something entirely different occurs when standing in front of Ricoh Gerbl’s photographs, though. From the onlooker’s perspective, the figures seemingly dissolve into the image – as if it actually were a memory. But the memory is two-pronged: one direction represents dissolution, and the other composition. We remember only because we want to remember. This duality of perception is evident when confronted with Gerbl’s photographs, as what we see emerges from the canvas. What is recognizable but not immediately apparent is clarified linguistically through text. For instance, the fine lines on the street are not a feature of the street, but instead shadows cast by a fence. Couples sit atop the barrier, allowing the viewer to put everything into context. Alongside this dissolution is composition - which can occur on the image’s surface to counteract the fragmentation. At the same time, composition emerges in the eye of the beholder. He or she does not approach perception with empty eyes, but instead references previous encounters to interpret new observations. In this way, every new sight is also a recognition of the past. This recognition is clarified through the work’s title. It refers to a play written by Botho Strauss – and Ricoh Gerbl’s photos are reminiscent of stage sets seen at Berlin Theater productions of Strauss’ works. Gerbl supplements her images with short texts. “She takes what is perceived as a backdrop to set the stage…” Image and text, at first independent, become intertwined to communicate with the audience: hold on or flee. Anything is possible – including both composition and dissolution – within the theater setting, much like in Ricoh Gerbl’s photographs.


1990-1997Work contract for photography, Senate of Berlin, social support for artists
1993Work stipend for literature, Senate of Berlin, artist program
1996Work stipend for fine arts, Senate of Berlin
2004Residency grant for literature, Salzwedel
lives and works in Berlin


Fast. Eine Regung plus Pfropfung. Mulitple. Kaltleimbindung, 2019

Theater der Zeit, 2013

SCORES 11/13, Vienna, 2013

Kunstforum, Vol. 204 October – November 2010

Leben im Luxus, Erzählungen, Mitteldeutscher Verlag, Halle, 2009

H.O.W., Art and Literatury Journal, New York, 2009

von hundert, Thomas Wulffen, “Thank you for judging”, 2009

von hundert, Barbara Buchmaier, “Gespräch mit Ricoh Gerbl”, 2008

Eikon #54, “Photographs for a Project by Eve Sussman”, 2007

Art in America, “Photographs for a Project by Eve Sussman”, 2007

Flash Art, Vol XXXIX No. 246, “Photographs for a Project by Eve Sussman”, 2006

Kind of, maybe, probably not, in: Bus Obscura / Road To Bath / How Beautiful Is the Truning Cabbage, 2006

Camera Austria, Issue 74, 2001

Camera Austria, Issue 64, 1998


2021Lesungsverlosungsaktion, Lobe Block Terrrassenhaus, Berlin, Germany 
2019It’s Your Turn, Zentrum für aktuelle Kunst, Zitadelle Spandau, Berlin, Germany
2008Thank you for judging, Berlin Museum of Medical History at the Charité, Berlin, Germany
2007Mittwoch, Visite ma tante, Berlin, Germany
2004The Mother and Apartmentgrafting, Smack Mellon, New York City, United States

Expressgrafting, in four apartments, New York City, United States

2000Kimmst amoi wieda zu mia, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany
1999Die Wohnungspfropfungen, in eight apartments, Berlin, Germany
1998Die Wohnungspropfungen, in four apartments, Berlin, Germany
1997Verharren in Zwischenstopps, Annelies Diltschev, Berlin, Germany
1986Ich muss mich nur noch fertig machen, dann bin ich fertig, Die der Art guten
Freunde, Berlin, Germany

2022Die Auswilderung wird verschoben, Projektraum Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen 1867, Berlin, Germany
2021RaumSchau, Goldwerk Gallery, Rostock, Germany
2020POP UP SHOW, Haus Kunst Mitte, Berlin, Germany
2017Fortsetzung jetzt, 150 Jahre Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen, Projektraum Alte Feuerwache, Berlin, Germany 
2013Ausstellung zum Marianne Werfekin-Preis, Pankow Gallery, Berlin and Spinnerei, Leipzig, Germany
2008Existence in a Letter, Cluster, Berlin, Germany

von der Angst, Kunstverein Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

Inselglück, Galerie Nord, Berlin, Germany

2005ZBO – Subduktive Massnahmen - 1500 Jahre Sonderschutz für 50 Kunstwerke, Zentraler Bergungsort Oberried / Breisgau, Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, Bonn, Germany

Goldenes Zeitalter, Galerie Nord, Berlin, Germany

2002Gehag Forum, Berlin, Germany
2001Familienbild, neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, Berlin, Germany