Photographer and poet Heimrad Bäcker dedicated his life to documenting the remnants of Nazism and the Holocaust. Bäcker’s photographs look away from the scenes usually associated with the Shoah—barracks, gates, train tracks—and focus on the minute and incidental traces left behind in the Austrian landscape: indentations in stone, twisted steel rods, and concrete foundations. His examination of Austrian history is also a self-critical reflection on his enthusiastic participation, as a teenager, in the Hitler Youth and the Nazi Party. Heimrad Bäcker: Landscape M focused on Bäcker’s works related to Mauthausen, the largest concentration camp in Austria.
Heimrad Bäcker was born in 1925 in Vienna and died in 2003 in Linz, Austria. This was the artist's first solo museum exhibition in the United States, and it is the first to show the body of work left behind after his death. He studied Philosophy, Sociology and Ethnology in Graz and Vienna. Bäcker belonged to the international avant-garde, editor of the literary journals »neue texte« (1968-1991) and publisher of »edition neue texte« (1976-1991). He wrote lyric poetry, radio plays and documentary poetry, dealing with the history of Holocaust and National Socialism in his books nachschrift (transcript, 1986) und nachschrift 2 (transcript 2, 1997).
Patrick Greaney, Director of the Graduate Certificate Program in Critical Theory and Professor of Humanities and Comparative Literature Programs, University of Colorado Boulder
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