Philipp Goldbach German, b. 1978

Goldbach’s work explores the relationship between time and written language with an emphasis on photography as both material and metaphor. He appropriates material from philosophy and art to examine the intellectual history of how information is stored; the materiality of inscription in a conflicting world of digitized and technological reproduction. Goldbach came to prominence for his series “Blackboards and Micrographs” (2010) for which he photographed chalkboards in rooms at various German universities where great thinkers such as Martin Heidegger and Theodor Adorno once taught. Concerned with philosophical ideas, Goldbach transcribes seminal philosophical texts in impossibly small pencil handwriting or into the circuit of a Read Only Memory board, yielding arduously intricate drawings and minimalist sculptures that hark back to outmoded forms of technology and highlight the “materiality of information”.  More recent photographs experiment with the development process in analogue photography, using torches and light filters to ‘draw’ onto photographic paper and investigate the role of photography as a “Universal Language”, itself a philosophical and sociological concept.


In his most ambitious, large-scale installation to date, Via Lucis, 2015 is made from the entire slide collection of the archives of Cologne University’s Institute of Art History. 150,000 picture slides - photographic reproductions of art works representing over 2000 years of cultural history – stacked against the wall covering an area of 2.5 x 8 meters to form a three-dimensional mural with a flickering, random pattern.


Goldbach was born in Cologne in 1978 and studied Media Arts at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, Germany alongside Art History, Philosophy and Sociology at the University of Cologne.  After a year spent in Japan, a stint as Assistant Professor of Photography at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne and as a curator at the Simultanhalle Cologne, he received his doctorate in Art History in 2016. He has received numerous awards including Q21 Residency MuseumsQuartier, Vienna, a doctoral study scholarship for Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, Cologne and also the Vordemberge Gildewart scholarship.


Goldbach’s work is represented in important public collections and museums in Germany including: DZ Bank, Frankfurt am Main, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Kunsthalle Bremerhaven, Sk Stiftung Kultur Köln, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Museum Wiesbaden and internationally including the Freybe Collection, Vancouver, Canada amongst others.