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Lukas Hoffmann, People and traces

Lukas Hoffmann, People and traces

13 - 23.06.2024
Art_Inkubator, Tymienieckiego 3
13.06, 19:00-22:00 (last entry at 21:30)
Fri-Sun 10:00–20:00 (last entry at 21:30)
Mon-Thu 14:00–20.00 (last entry at 19:30)
pass PLN 50, normal/regular ticket PLN 30/10, free admission for children under 12 and guardian with a group of over 10 children

People and Traces is the first introduction of Lukas Hoffmann’s works to the Polish audience and one of the highlights of this year’s Fotofestiwal. It is a cross-sectional, solo exhibition of the Swiss photographer, presenting his input into the evolution of photographic medium and street photography. 


Lukas Hoffmann has recently been awarded the Swiss Design Prize and his work will be presented during Art Basel. His photographs are part of the collection of – among others – Centre Pompidou. His show in Arles was one of the best received and widely discussed exhibitions in 2022.

People and Traces

Lukas Hoffmann’s exhibition features several series of large‐format images showing the peeling letters on a scrapped container owned by EVERGREEN Marine Corporation, weathering traces on a line of fifty L-stones, or a hedge overhanging a watercourse lined by concrete slabs on the outskirts of Berlin. The division of the motifs over the surfaces of different images results from a precise, calculated photographic process using a large format camera and individual sheet films. The typography of the letters and the serial order of the concrete elements determine where the subject appears in the image. However, although the referent remains recognizable, the rigour of the composition and the almost tactile drawing of the surfaces lead the subject to fade behind its representation. The texture of applied paint or eroded stone resemble the traces of time in the profusion of details. The abstract formal qualities of the images bring to mind the American modernist aesthetics of Aaron Siskind and Clyfford Still.

Within the genre of street photography, Hoffmann’s practice takes another direction. Unlike the traditional approach, which advanced with the development of small cameras, Hoffmann still uses a large format camera, but without a tripod. He captures the subject freehand, spontaneously, and from a very short distance, without looking into a viewfinder. His series of shots on pedestrian streets in central Berlin freezes fleeting, contrasting poses, precisely draws textures of skin and clothing, and reveals traces of the ephemeral in a light beam or windswept hair, without showing faces.

Hoffmann’s works thus reveal the complex representations of temporality that is characteristic of the photographic medium.

(text by Johanna Schiffler)


With the support of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.
Honorary patronage of the Embassy of Switzerland in Poland.



Art_Inkubator, Tymienieckiego 3

DID YOU KNOW THAT Art_Inkubator is located in the former factory of Karol Scheibler II, son of the greatest factory owner in Łódź? 

Every firstborn son in the Scheibler family was named Karol. The factory is a part of Księży Młyn, also called a town in town” or “Polish Manchester”. Scheibler Senior built the largest textile factory in this part of Europe, as well as an estate of workers’ houses, many palaces, hospitals, schools, and parks. Karol Scheibler’s legacy was later developed by Karol Scheibler II, who erected factories at Tymienieckiego and Milionowa Streets. The factory still has the original Russian gauge railway tracks! You will find them near the passage to the new “Fuzja” estate.