These mountains and forests are entwined with German history and Germanic myths: according to legend, unicorns lived here and witches met to dance. Emperors resided here, the peasantry rebelled here. The seemingly pristine forests and mountains were places of longing for German Romanticism. But place names such as “misery” and “worries” still bear witness to the exploitation of man and the environment.
Under National Socialism, caves and forests were used as concentration camps.
After the war, the inner-German border crossed the mountains, and currently climate change is destroying the forest cover over large areas. The forested mountains once gave the low mountain range its name: “Hart”. Over time, this became the region’s current name: “Harz”. The series “Hard” deals with a broad concept of landscape, which includes socio-cultural, economic and ecological contexts as well as the manifold interaction between man and environment in the landscape. The combination of documentary photographs with collected plants and objects constitutes an archive that both logs and questions the identity and condition of a region and a society.
Janusz Beck. Born in 1983, he studied photography with Vincent Kohlbecher in Hamburg.. In his works Beck deals with the documentation of socio-cultural, political and architectural contexts in rural and (sub-)urban areas. In doing so, he directs his attention to capturing a brittle, often melancholic beauty of the mundane and everyday. In addition to an extensive exhibition activity, his works are published in various publications.
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