Amsterdam November - The Story Comes Together -Full Circle,the historical photographs from Studio Jacob Merkelbach taken in the period 1913 – 1969 are on view in the Hirsch building, the location whereJacob Merkelbachheld his famous daylight photo studio until 1942. Artist Isi Kunath (GER) mined the Amsterdam City archives combining historical images with the documentary film Gevoelige Plaat (1976) by Kees Hin andJan Wouter van Reijen to create an extraordinary exhibition including photographs of Queen Wilhelmina, Mata Hari , the famous fashion house Hirsch & Co, as well as the endearing portraits of Jacob Merkelbach’s cherished model, his daughter and photographer Mies Merkelbach. In combination with Kunath’s own work, she affords us an opportunity to relive the rich history of the Hirsch building.

“Kunath’s recentexhibition in het Staatliches Museum für VölkerkundeMünchen, Germany, in which she masterfully combined the museum collection with her own photography, convinced me that she simply had to make an exhibition here,” according to Donna Wolf, the initiator of the series of art exhibitions in the Hirsch building. Isi Kunath works as a chronicler, much in the way that Merkelbach did. She records the world around her in images, where small seemly insignificant details are revealed and play a leading role. Found images work like a trigger for Kunath, who then combines them with newly created images and impressions unfolding anew story whilst at the same time giving us insight into her way of seeing. Upon her visit to the Hirsch building she was overwhelmed. “breathtaking – the demolished interior of the building, the traces of moulding on the ceiling, the enormous cement skeleton with its monumental pillars – its like a cathedral.” She contemplated aloud: “Can a building harbour feelings? Have these walls been permeated with memories of all that has transpired here?” Kunath’s curiosity regarding the origins and history of the building forms the basis of this unique exhibition.

This exhibition combines historical images of Atelier Merkelbach with Kunath’s own contemporary photography, a selection of portraits from the Déiska collection, (Melanie Bosboom,Alexandra Rouppe van der Voort, Gijs Müller, Lucas Lenglet & Arthur Kleinjan) along with a recent photography serie Muziotopia by Ilya Rabinovich. It is the third in a series of exhibitions, organised by art fund Déiska & deVerzameling, to exhibit contemporary art in the heart of the city in the historic Hirschgebouw on the Leidseplein. Each exhibition is a step in our investigation of the reception of contemporary art in historical settings, respecting and recalling the past while adding a fresh chapter.