In the second half of the 20th century, in addition to film, it is above all newspapers and journals that shape the visual representation of scientists by making use of recurring motifs and formal design elements.
The tableau, as shown here, stems from the press photos from the “Göttinger Tageblatt” selected by the Slovenian artist Nina Pivk. In the summer of 2018 she looked at a randomly chosen annual editions of the local paper between 1960 and 2000 and picked portrait motifs. They have one common denominator: at least one professor from Göttingen University is in each picture.
By grouping the photographers using shared motifs, overarching patterns in the representation of scientists, who are an integral part of the collective image memory, become visible: the bookshelf in the background, the philosopher’s pose, the scholar lost in the book at the desk, the group picture of gentlemen without a lady.
Current portraits of professors from the press can be found on the wall. These are movable motifs so please feel free to move them however you wish.
Where would you place your teachers, your colleagues or your own portrait?