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Ronit Porat

Kölnisches Stadtmuseum

  • RonitPorat@Yair Barak.jpg

    © Yair Barak

  • RonitPorat.jpg

    © Ronit Porat, „Untitled, 2017 (from Mr. Ulbrich and Miss Neumann)“, manipulated photograph, 60 x 40 cm

  • RonitPorat1.jpg

    © Ronit Porat, „Self confused portrait, Marianne Breslauer (1929)“, 2012, manipulated photograph, 40 x 30 cm

  • RonitPorat3.jpg

    © Ronit Porat, "Untitled", 2017, digitally processed, stereograph, 8.9 x 17.5 cm

The Artist


Ronit Porat (*1975 in the Kfar Giadi kibbutz, Northern Israel) lives and works in Tel Aviv. She studied photography and digital media at the Hadassah College in Jerusalem as well as Fine Art at the Chelsea School of Art and Design in London and completed her doctorate.

In her photographs the Israeli artist deals chiefly with archive materials from Germany of the inter-war period and from kibbutz archives. In parts, her collage-like procedure may be classed as a Dadaist photomontage method. Porat uses these images, which she alters by means of trimming, as well as private photographs in order to allow new narratives to arise and historical boundaries to become visible in her installations. With the help of the found “photographic traces and remnants”, Porat’s works are charged with psychological, emotional and gender-specific aspects and, along the way, also make reference to concepts of origin, the exertion of influence, and reproduction.

Specifically, she investigates the transparent boundaries of gender and equality in Europe into the late 30s, when notions of a liberated “New Woman” were popularized and the camera became a personal research tool that placed the identity of these women at the focus. The Second World War and the necessity to preserve, pass on and responsibly deal with stories and documents also play an important role in Ronit Porat’s oeuvre.

„When entering an archive I approach it as a researcher in a crime scene, looking for clues into how the past penetrates the present in order to gather visual sources that will help me to decipher the cognitive-emotional space in which I operate. I am interested in the movement that shifts between the personal and the collective and back to my personal biography, to examine the power of images to resonate in the memory and to create a sense of belonging.“ - Ronit Porat

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The Collection

The Graphics Collection of the Cologne City Museum includes a comprehensive photographic collection (including approx. 20,000 picture postcards), which comprises some 20 percent of the stock. The museum’s very first objects included photographs from the stock of the Historical Archive and the city building department. The focus of the photography therefore lies on urban profile and architecture, which also covers the Rhineland at least until 1945. But this was swiftly followed by portraits and “costume pictures”, images of unknown persons of every gender and age, which were collected on account of their clothing. Until the mid-20th century, the city collected photography essentially in the form of documentation; artistic photography did not follow until it acquired August Sander’s portfolio “Köln wie es war” (“Cologne the way it was”), naturally also under the aspect of urban history, profile, culture or architecture. This practice is continued to this day. The invited artist will be able to draw on this fund, be the subject individual artist personalities, aspects of urban profile photography from 1853 to today, portraits.

“The Graphics Collection at the Cologne City Museum, which comprises approximately 20,000 illustrations of Cologne’s urban and cultural history, invites Israeli artist Ronit Porat to perform a rediscovery and a reinterpretation of these archived items.”


- Internationale Photoszene Köln

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