by ANJA BOHNHOF
published by edition inventio, 2019
THE GOLDEN WAY WAS TO BE FRIENDS WITH THE WORLD AND TO REGARD THE WHOLE HUMAN FAMILY AS MEMBERS OF ONE FAMILY.
Mahatma Gandhi (CWMG, Vol. 86, p.71)
IN THE PRESS
India, Bangladesh, Great Britain, South Africa — wherever Gandhi lived and worked, Bohnhof went looking for traces of his presence. For five years, she traveled around the world, visiting and photographing three categories of places with her analogue large-format camera. With her opulent, bilingual book, Bohnhof traces Gandhi's life in illustrations. Each picture is accompanied by well-researched texts, as well as quotations by the freedom fighter, to offer an enlightening read.
The photographer captured all the important stages in Gandhi's life in expressive images with a high aesthetic appeal. The photos are strangely deserted and yet radiate their very own positive mood. Each picture is accompanied by a text that provides information about the relevant pivot point in the life of the Mahatma. […] The accompanying texts seek to enhance the reader's experience culminating into a very enjoyable, informative and exciting biography to read.
When I noticed the book »Tracking Gandhi« I expected it to be another adulatory, boring read. I was so wrong. It has given me unique insights into the life and times of a man, who inspired a whole nation to stand up for itself. And every image is a visual treat, just pulls me in.
V. KOTTERI, BLOGUNBLOCK.COM
STEFAN DEGE, DEUTSCHE WELLE
CHRISTIANE FREUDENSTEIN-ARNOLD, MEINE WELT
»Tracking Gandhi« not only offers atmospheric photographs, but also a wealth of information. Each photograph is accompanied by a short text and a Gandhi quote, so that its life story is communicated vividly. An interview conducted by Anja Bohnhof with Gandhi's great-grandson Tushar Arun Gandhi is also very interesting. What did his great-grandfather do?, how does India deal with Gandhi's legacy today? These topics are also addressed in an essay by Rainer Hoerig, who lives as a journalist in India.
This sense of contemporary relevance is one of the key motivating factors that prompted Anja Bohnhof to engage so thoroughly and in such depth with Gandhi’s life and political ideas. She creates a projection surface for conscious societal commemoration and broadens our view of historically charged sites. Yet the artist’s conceptual rigour and distinctive visual language enable us, above all, to look at Gandhi with a fresh eye and, indeed, to discover him anew.
The photographer Anja Bohnhof has been addressing topics in connection with India for years. Her most comprehensive and successful project centered around Mahatma Gandhi coinciding with his 150th anniversary. They are very subtle photographs that the 1974-born artist, who lives in Dortmund, took. They show almost deserted places, not the loud, colourful, over- whelming India. They are mostly modest rooms that invite you to remember a person who has become an icon, comparable to the Dalai Lama today.
ANNA GRIPP, PHOTONEWS
SILKE EIKERMANN-MOSEBERG, ART HISTORIAN
ANNE HORSTMEIER, WAZ
Anja Bohnhof (born in 1974), trained as a photographer before going on to study visual communication & photography at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. Since 2004 she has been working freelance as a photographer and visual artist. From 2006 – 2014 she was a lecturer in photography & editorial practices at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences. Her work has been exhibited internationally and she has received numerous grants and awards. Additionally she has published a number of books documenting her work. Represented by Galerie m, Bochum, Germany.
Since 2009 she has completed many book- and exhibition projects about India, for example the portrait series Bahak (2012)—a work about the burden carriers in the streets of Kolkata and Krishak (2018), a series capturing the peasant farmers harvesting rice in West Bengal, or Books for Sale, featuring photographs about the book and publishing house quarter in Kolkata. In 2015 she received the Gisela Bonn-Award from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi for her work about India—in recognition of her significant contribution towards the deepening of Indo-German relations.
06 March 2020
Satya Art Gallery, Navajivan Trust, Ahmedabad, India
Mahatma Gandhi Mission University, Aurangabad, India
18 Jan. 2020
KunstRaum, Mercatorhaus Duisburg, Germany
15 Oct. 2019
National Gandhi Museum, New Delhi, India