From June 19 to July 17, 2016, The Forum für Fotografie in Cologne is presenting Cortorar Gypsies, an exhibition of works by Irina Ruppert.
Brateiu lies in the heart of Romania, in a commune located in Sibiu county. Since 2006, Hamburg photographer Irina Ruppert has travelled regularly to the village, to get to know and portray the Cortorari gypsies living there. The “sheet metal gypsies” as they are also sometimes called, are a group of traditional Roma, who maintain a handicraft that, as in the past, serves to earn them a living: forging usable items out of copper.
The Leica photographer captures the personalities of these villagers with impressive and clear portraits. Her images move between intense research and a dialogue with the life of the Roma, giving them a reportage-like quality on the one hand, and an artistic and poetic imagery on the other.
In a conversation with ZEIT author Christian Schüle, Roma expert Prof. Klaus-Michael Bogdal brings Ruppert’s approach to her work to the point, saying, “the photographer separates the viewer from what we know and what we think we know: hardship, dirt, chaos. That’s what you mostly see in pictures about the Roma. Not in this case. We do know that there’s hardship and dirt very close to those she portrays, but she doesn’t force it on us.”
Further information at: Forum für Fotografie, Irina Ruppert and Vimeo Video