Project information



Atheism Baha'iism Buddhism Candomble Daoism Protestant church Hinduism Catholic Church Korean Methodist church International mission church Jehovah's Witnesses yazididom Judaism Mormonism Orthodox Church Shia Islam Shinto spiritual quest Sunni Islam wiccan

It's the new project by photo artist Elena Kaufmann, and it's a clear message against hostility, distrust and hatred. For understanding, friendliness and togetherness.

Elena Kaufmann shows 20 large-format portraits of 20 women of different faiths. 20 women renounce all external jewelry, wrap themselves in a simple garment, no external sign of their faith, nothing distracts. Just looking at the camera. And this is where the mastery of the Erfurt photo artist Elena Kaufmann begins. In exciting, large-format portraits, she shows strength and vulnerability. It's nothing superficial, nothing loud and coarse, it's the fine language of an artist who lifts off layer by layer in order to get to the essential. Elena Kaufmann makes the soul visible and, with her art, senses courage and fear, which ultimately seeks refuge and security in faith. The artist reveals community and includes everyone who wants to see. Her sensitivity helps the viewer to get involved with faces, paves the way for reading, feeling and understanding them. You are human, I want to trust you. I want to live with you on this earth, we can share its wonderful riches. We can protect them and so our children. Hatred and violence will not separate us. If we only want it, we are strong. No more and no less, that is Elena Kaufmann's claim, which is what she talks about in her pictures.

The white thread, spun into a cocoon, envelops the large-format portraits. The cocoon will shine through the night and protect portraits on streets and squares. Everyone is invited to look, to think. And there are texts by Antje-Maria Lochthofen that tell of hope, fear and the longing for a footing in the world. And the endless longing for community.

One can be curious about 20 women, their faces and stories. Unreservedly honest narratives revealing a highly professional photographer. And at the same time bear witness to their eye for the tension of everyday life.

Photographs and texts are not encyclopedias and neither are they Wikipedia, they are sensitive descriptions of worlds of belief that help women through their lives. And it is the wonderful realization that faith brings together and does not separate. Strong message that opposes separation and hostility, showing that deep humanity can overcome everything, build bridges and create friendship.

Anyone who would like to get involved in this exciting encounter is cordially invited. On 10. September 2021 the cocoon will open on Willy-Brandt-Platz in the Thuringian state capital. There will be no disclosure. It will remain open who belongs to which religion. And it will be the question in the room: where do you belong Who are you. Can you trust, accept being different.

Prof. Dr. Kai Uwe Schierz, Director of the Erfurt Art Museums, is curating the exhibition.

The exhibition will be on view until October 10 and will be accompanied by a variety of encounters, discussions, readings and workshops. It will then continue on its way and can be experienced in Berlin and Chemnitz, for example.

An art book will be published to accompany the exhibition. From September 9th, 2021 it will be available in bookshops or on elenakaufmann.de.

Download press release PDF

Elena Kaufmann

5439 x 3630 px

Elena Kaufmann

5439 x 3630 px

Exhibition sphere cocoon

2560 x 1440 px

Antje-Maria Lochthofen in conversation with the protagonist

2922 x 3896 px

Protagonist in the studio

3024 x 4032 px

Protagonist in the studio

2922 x 3896 px

Adress and communication

Brühler Straße 40a
99084 Erfurt