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name and portrait Josh von Staudach

company Circulus
website name Josh von Staudach PANORAMA
website url
city and country Stuttgart, Germany

personal statement Around 1972, at the tender age of nine, I secretly started clambering around building and demolition sites. Your heart starts doing double time because you don't want to be caught and you quickly learn to move more cautiously when you take a tumble or bang your head. The main draw and fascination however was to find out about the structure of a building and how it was actually built.

I worked in graphic design and had an advertising agency until 2004 that mainly catered for clients in the manufacturing industry. I turned my attention to photography, which had been a kind of companion to me from when I was 14 and left the field of advertising when I felt that I had reached some sort of peak. Suddenly I was drawn out into the world instead of just sitting in my office. I started traveling and began to see nature and landscapes with different eyes. All of these experiences and impressions inform and influence my approach as a panoramic photographer.

Working conceptually has great appeal to me. I like to develop and hone ideas and to implement them consequently which is why I try to create pictures that possess a strong symbolic content, an important message combined with a high sense of aesthetic.

Nowadays I get asked to give lectures on Panorama in general and about its history. At the beginning of the 19th century there were gigantic round pictures 15 metres in height, custom made 360 degree paintings, which were shown in specially built theatres. Meanwhile the photographic process had made huge strides and people started to create panoramic formats by combining individual photographs. It is this tradition I have in mind when I devote my work to this genre.

suggested panel layout

first image
first image title Running down History
first image subject Inside a decaying railway roundhouse at sunset
first image place date November 6th 2007, Halle Saale, Germany
first image caption In the age of steam locomotives turntables were needed if you wanted to change the direction of travel, and roundhouses in order to service and house these machines. These installations were circular and very often designed to work up to 360 degrees, which is why I came up with the concept of putting the panoramic camera in the very centre of the turntable in order to be able to depict the roundhouse as a cylindrical projection. At the end of 2007 I started researching where to still find roundhouse sites in Germany. I have almost documented 200 objects to date. It is my most work extensive project. This picture shows a roundhouse as the (its) sun goes down. The roof has collapsed, plants are growing from the soil heavy with oil, nature is reclaiming the premises.

second image
second image title Tearing down History
second image subject The demolition of the GDR Palace of the Republik
second image place date July 5th 2008, Berlin, Germany
second image caption The Palace of the Republic was built in the former GDR (East Germany) and opened its doors to the public in 1976 on the site of the old City Palace in Berlin, which had received extensive damage during World War II.

The building was home to the parliament of the GDR as well as rooms, venues and restaurants for public use. After the fall of the wall the building suddenly found itself obsolete but remained an important historical symbol of a divided Germany.

The building's demolition was begun in 2006 in the face of national protests and objections from abroad. This picture shows the dead grey skeleton symbolising the former society against the backdrop of an illuminated metropolis.

third image
third image title Forgetting about History
third image subject Abandoned mine coe with clothes-baskets
third image place date March 5th 2011, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
third image caption The Ruhr basin, whose towns largely owe their existence to mining and the steel industry, is located in Germany's geographical centre — an industry which has lost almost all of its meaning nowadays. There were countless derelict mines and steel mills during the nineties, which have since been demolished completely, the land reclaimed and re-developed. Unless you look inside museums there are hardly any historical traces left.

This picture shows the coe (workers changing room) of a coal mine closed in April 2000 that has not been used since. Almost 4000 clothes-baskets are hanging from the ceiling on rusty chains. It is the last building of its kind.

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