Der Greif is a project for contemporary photography and literature with a focus on photography. It addresses itself to people with an affinity for image and text.
Der Greif is a print-magazine, online-platform, curatorial team and joint project for and with photographers and authors from all over the world.
The artistic core and root of the project is the printed and ad-free magazine. It shows the works of photographers and authors of different origins in a holistic piece of art.
The website is an exhibition-, communication-, and information-platform for participants and anyone interested. It contains information about the magazine, published artists and supporters, an online-shop, as well as a blog. Participating artists are presented in artist-features and have the opportunity to post on the blog.
The main principle of the magazine is based on combining photographic and literary works of different artists. Here, single photographs texts are combined by the editors of Der Greif and put into a new context. The individual issues don’t have any predetermined subjects – but rather develop their respective theme during the curatorial phase. The combination and the resulting complete work (which is more book than magazine) are core and distinctiveness of Der Greif. Thus the magazine is no portfolio-magazine, but evolves from an abundance of works of various artists.
The magazine is produced in large format (24,5 x 34,5 cm) and has a limited print run of 2000 copies, each numbered. Since its creation, interest and attention, as well as circulation have grown steadily. For the fifth, most recent issue, around 600 photographers and authors from 41 countries submitted over 4000 works. Der Greif is amongst athors available at Printed Matter in New York, at Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, at DoYouReadMe? in Berlin, as well as at Buchhandlung Walther König in Cologne and in the Museumsquartier in Vienna.
Curation & Layout
For the alert viewer the intense examination and sensitive curation of the submitted works becomes apparent. This forms the basic atmosphere of the magazine. Due to its layout, the physical exhibition space of the magazine opens a plane for the viewer to focus on the sensitive interaction between the photographs and texts. Questions concerning authorship, topics or theoretical discourse intended by the artists are replaced by the emotions of the viewer. A new space is born: A world of phantasy, opened up by the artwork Der Greif through its newly combined content. The viewer fills the magazine with his own, ever new emotions – a one-of-a-kind aura is created.
Photographers and authors from all parts of the world submit their works via the upload-form on our website. After registration, each participant gets access to his account, so he is able to access, edit, delete or change his works during submission-phases. As the issues don’t focus on predetermined subjects, photographs and texts of all kinds can be submitted.
The participating artists engage with the exceptional concept of the magazine. Through their trust in the editors and their sensitive curation and combination of their works, a unique form of co-working evolves, that flows into complete works – the printed magazine. An immerged presentation of selected artists and their works takes place online in the form of artist-features.
In contradiction to the magazine, that is published twice a year, the speed and actuality of the web enables us to present single artists in detail, whose works are shown in the magazine. This happens in weekly artist-features of the photographers. The features show and comment works in close agreement with the artists. During the features, the artists get the possibility to write guest-posts on the site and give a closer insight into their ways of working, their sources of inspiration as well as personal backgrounds.
In order to give the submitted works space at the best, and not to damage the tension between the works and the evolving atmosphere, we dispense with advertising in the magazine. But – as Der Greif is not fundable only through the sales of the magazine – we are dependent on supporters and funders, that means enterprises, organisations and independent gentlemen. Instead of classic print advertising, we developped more reasonable and contemporary cooperation-possibilities. Our supporters are namend in the colophon of the particular issue, they obtain the possibility to place their logo on our website/social-media-platform and to explain their reasons for funding the project in the form of special presentations. Hereby they show their enterprise or themselves as private persons in sympathetic proximity and site themselves as cultural supporters.
Working on the magazine and the website, the editors reflect certain socio-cultural topics and processes them artistically. The editors forsee in the coexistence of digital and analog the future of print-media: Digital media are not to beat concerning their actuality, whereas the haptic adventure of the printed magazine enables a more direct, more emotional experience. The presentation-form of photography and poetry within the magazine reflects the usual portfolio-presentation in books and magazines critically, as it combines diverse works of different photographers and authors – both already established and unknown – in a sensitive layout, that is intensely responsive to the single photographs and texts and creates new references between them. In a constantly accelerating world, in which the medium photography is an omnipresent, influental mass-phenomenon, Der Greif creates an antipole and requests the viewer /reader to pause and experience. In a curated, high-quality blog and in the magazine, printed with a limited amount of copies, that conceptwise is close to a book, Der Greif offers through its way of presentation and the choice of content an alternative to the predominant stimulus satiation and arbitrariness of many print- and online-publications.