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NEW YORK, 28 DECEMBER 2007-As with his 2004 show, In a Russian Juvenile Prison, German photographer Ingar Krauss' new large-scale, black and white portraits of Eastern European migrant workers manage to capture the psychologically poignant and often grim existential condition of particular class levels of Eastern Europeans. Whether before or after the fall of the Soviet Empire , anyone who has lived or travelled extensively in Eastern Europe will recognize such faces, as well as Krauss' aspiration to make reality and biography visible in photographs.

Ingar Krauss had this to say about his work in his show Birds of Passage now on view through 2 February 2008 at Marvelli Gallery in New York's Chelsea district.

Ingar Krauss: Untitled (Klaistow), 2007
Gelatin silver print; 40 x 33 inches
Ed. of 8
Photo courtesy of Marvelli Gallery

"Seasonal workers who work as harvest hands in foreign countries have a long tradition. This form of migration existed throughout the world long before the age of globalization. In Europe workers migrate from East to West and from South to North. Today most of the seasonal workers have to travel farther to get to their working places. There are more than 300,000 migrant workers in Germany every year. A short time ago most of the workers were arriving from Poland but in the last few years more and more people have come from farther regions of Eastern Europe.

The seasonal workers consist of men and women, young and old, and sometimes entire families. They are people from different social levels and backgrounds. For months they live in temporary shacks with double-decker beds, working seven days a week with little or no contact with local Germans. Most of them do not speak German. Since there are not enough Germans who are willing to do the physical work for such little pay, the seasonal workers are a necessity to the German farmers. The whole harvest depends on those men and women from abroad. Every year thousands of harvest hands come and go like birds of passage. The portraits of migrant seasonal workers show the internal dynamics of a recent migration. They have traveled long distances to work in Germany. The photographs are taken in the fields or in the evening in front of their shacks. They are the people who facilitate our affluent society and who contribute to it in a fundamental way."

Ingar Krauss: Untitled (Beelitz), 2007
Gelatin silver print; 40 x 33 inches
Ed. of 8
Photo courtesy of Marvelli Gallery

Born in 1965 in East Berlin, GDR, Ingar Krauss is a self-taught photographer. Unlike fellow compatriot and high-tech art market star Andreas Gursky , Krauss' work appears to be concerned with many of the same questions of social history, identity and aesthetics as the portraits of August Sander and Eugéne Atget. He started to exhibit his photographs in 2001. In addition to solo exhibitions in Berlin, Milan and New York, Krauss has participated in international group shows devoted to portraiture such as About Face. Photography and the Death of the Portrait, Hayward Gallery, London (2004), and Je t'envisage: La disparition du portrait at the Musée de l'Elysée in Lausanne (2004). Also in 2004, Krauss was awarded the Leica Prize during the Fourth Grand Prix International de Photographie, Vevey, Switzerland. Recently his work was included in ECCE UOMO at Spazio Oberdan, Milan. He currently lives and works in Berlin.

Ingar Krauss: Birds of Passage
Until 2 February 2008
Marvelli Gallery
526 West 26th Street
Second Floor
New York, NY 10001
Tel: (1) 212 627 33 63

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