What Still Remains
The idea for my project “What Still Remains” had been on my mind for quite some time. One morning, on my way to the darkroom, I was crossing Broadway, near Canal street, and in the middle of the street, I saw a clear blue plastic comb embedded in the pavement. That startled me, and I was beginning to wonder how this comb might have gotten there. Who had used it before, why did it end up in the pavement on Broadway? How do things get to where they are? They get lost in time and I am interested in what still remains. In our society of today, marked by our ability to consume, everything seems to be disposable, changes occur so quickly and things get left behind in specific places. Then they seem to take on a life of their own.
One Day in November
The images from the series, “One Day in November“ is a tribute to Gisèle Freund on what would have been her 100th birthday in December 2008. “One day in November“ is a testament to the friendship between the great photographer and myself, a young photography student in Paris during the 1990’s. Intended as a posthumous birthday present, I have compiled a collection of images that are meant to convey visually what Gisèle Freund taught me and what Gisèle meant to me. Gisèle Freund herself can certainly be considered as one of the great artistic and intellectual figures of the twentieth century. Her impact can be traced to both her photographic and literary work and to her own colorful biography.
Jessica Backhaus was born in Cuxhaven, Germany in 1970. At the age of sixteen, she moved to Paris where she studied photography and visual communications. Here she would meet Gisele Freund in 1992, who became her mentor and close friend.
In 1995 her passion for photography drew her to New York, where she started assisting photographers and pursued her own projects. Since then her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including The National Portrait Gallery in London and the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin.
In Fall 2005 her first book, “Jesus and the Cherries” was published by Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg. Fall 2008 brought two new books, both published by Kehrer Verlag. The first titled “What Still Remains” and the second book “One Day in November” which is a visual homage to Gisèle Freund, who would have celebrated her 100th birthday in December 2008.
Jessica Backhaus is represented by Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York, Robert Morat Galerie in Hamburg and The Photographers’ Gallery in London.
While based in New York, Jessica divides her time and life between Europe and the United States. website.