A Narrow Foothold
German philosopher Walter Benjamin’s monumental work the Arcades Project—which remained unfinished at the time of his death in 1940—represents both a treatise on the labyrinthine nature of the modern city and the realization of his dream of a book without authorship, composed almost entirely of quotations drawn from a wide range of sources. Taking their mutual appreciation for these aspects of Benjamin’s work as their starting point, friends and photographers Jonas Feige (Germany) and Alan Huck (United States) sorted through their archives of orphaned images in order to assemble a collective portrait of an anonymous city—one composed of severe geometric forms, vague symbols, and the spectral traces of a human presence. Intentionally trying to dissolve any sense of individual authorship, the two looked to Benjamin as their methodological guide, reminding them that “an enigma is a fragment that, together with another, matching fragment, makes up a whole.”
There is also a supporter edition which includes a 12.5 x 16.5 inch double-sided poster and a booklet with a conversation between Jonas and Alan about photography, process, and collaboration.
Es könnte alles ganz anders sein
Erstmal at Photoforum Pasquart as part of the Prix Photoforum Exhibition
”… Jonas Feige contrasts the rich cultural tapestry of Weimar with the haunting echoes of Buchenwald, a stark reminder of Germany's darker chapters. Erstmal (For Now) takes us on a journey beyond the usual narratives, exploring how these historical landscapes have evolved and how they are perceived by today's youth. It's a poignant reflection on the fading memories of the Holocaust and the responsibility of future generations to carry these stories forward.“
Reconstruct, riso group publication by Surface Editions
silver gelatin print
paper size 20x28 cm
image size 18x27 cm
edition of 100
comes with a signed and numbered certificate sticker
This Soil We Have Created For Ourselves
This Soil We Have Created For Ourselves, published by Kominek Books
These photographs were taken in reaction to the rising calls for a renewed German nationalism. This Soil looks at Germany's man-made environment, its places of memory as well as its towns and museums to contemplate an atmosphere of unease and the long shadows that reach from Germany's past all the way into the present.
”This Soil is an investigation of sites of memory and yet its strength lies in not relying on a linear re-telling of events. It invites us to sense the significance of what we see before us and in doing so, attempts to strike a difficult balance between bringing attention to Germany’s dark past, while also refusing to give it honour or pay homage.“
— Lucy Rogers, C4 Journal
”Feige's book is a reminder that reminders are not history. They are propositions that wrangle us back from the complacency of believing that we understand history when it emerges like another dirty phoenix with a yearning for absolutes when we expect it least but subconsciously desire it the most.“
— Brad Feuerhelm on American Suburb X/Patreon
In 1889, Georg August Zenker, a gardener and botanist from Leipzig, took charge of the Jaunde (present-day Yaoundé) research station in the German colony of Kamerun. After six years’ tenure, Zenker was summarily relieved of his duties. He was said to be leading a polygamous life at the station with several African women, some of whom had borne him children. Zenker left the country, only to return soon afterwards as a private citizen. He settled with his family (a woman from Dahomé and five children) in Bipindi, deep in the Kamerun jungle, where he built Bipindihof, a German colonial-style house and vast cocoa, rubber and banana plantations. The mainstay of his livelihood, however, consisted in collecting copious botanical and zoological specimens as well as ethnographic objects for German museums. Zenker’s thought and actions were, to be sure, heavily influenced by the colonial mindset. But on a number of occasions he clearly opposed the colonialist and militaristic practices of his superiors and other German countrymen. He died in 1922 and was buried on the grounds of his Bipindihof. Zenker’s descendants live widely dispersed in Cameroon and Europe today, but most of them still regard the now crumbling Bipindihof as the cradle of the family. Yana Wernicke and Jonas Feige traveled to the present-day Republic of Cameroon several times for this photographic essay in order to retrace Zenker’s life there and portray his descendants. By bringing together recovered letters, photographs, drawings and paintings as well as interviews with Zenker’s descendants, they form a portrait of Georg August Zenker that emphasizes the complexity of his character and the complicated legacy he left behind.