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Triple Seven

Gambling halls live on illusions: they promise fortune and wealth, yet reality is the players’ misery. The needier the casinos’ social environments, the more fanciful their appearance has to be to draw customers. Most of Berlin’s roughly 500 casinos are located in the poorer districts of the city, one hundred of them Anne Lass visited for her series Triple Seven. It is common knowledge that gambling does not solve problems but almost inevitably results in despair. Nevertheless, players stick to their illusion. A symbol for this situation is a wonderful orchid that will be withered soon.

To fabricate and maintain their illusion, casinos create their own reality, following the taste of their customers. Since most of them belong to the lower strata of society and have an inclination to kitsch, the interiors are filled with parrots, fairy lights, palm trees or a view of Manhattan’s skyline with sparkling lights over glittering water – as a photo wallpaper, half hidden behind a curtain. Everything is pretence, con, fake. The outside world is completely denied, it must not interfere. The windows, if there are any, are covered. Daylight is mostly non-existent.

Human beings do not appear in these documentary-like photographs, and yet the pictures are charged with emotions. The emptiness and desolation of the scenery reflect the loneliness of the gamblers, their constantly renewed hope and the imperative fall. As in all kinds of addictions, the drug – gambling – must fill an inner emptiness. A dark TV screen stands as a symbol for the lack of communication, and only slips of paper pinned to the walls address the players, give them instructions. Bright colours are to distract from the existing dreariness, yet what remains are darkness, shadows, forsakenness. Anne Lass stresses the situation’s hopelessness with bottleneck situations: closed doors, windows without views, impenetrable walls and corners define endpoints.

However, there is also another side. The photographs themselves are perfect works of art with balanced compositions and colour arrangements that remind us of the great works of colour field painting. Anne Lass puts the truthfulness and beauty of her art against the deceit of the casinos. And what is more: the photos do not denounce, they take the gamblers’ wishes and desires seriously. As wrong as they might be, they have a sincere core: the hope for a better life, the longing for some happiness.

The title of this series, Triple Seven, refers to the maximum profit opportunity of Black Jack, the most popular card gamble. This profit, however, is quite moderate, the winner only gets 1.5 times his stake.

Works

Biography

1978 Born in Schleswig
2000-07 Communication design, Universität Duisburg-Essen (Folkwang Hochschule), Essen
2003 External studies, Hungarian University for Applied Arts, Budapest
2007 Diploma with destinction, Universität Duisburg-Essen (Folkwang Hochschule), Essen
Documentary photography with Prof. Jörg Sasse and Prof. Gisela Bullacher

Lives and works on Bornholm

awards and grants

2014 Nominee for Berlin Art Prize
2013 Residency in Hanstholm, Thy, Denmark
2012 Nominee for Plat(t)form, Fotomuseum Winterthur
2011 Aabenraa Community, initiated by Aabenraa Artweek, Aabenraa, Denmark
2010 Danish Arts Agency
Interland, initiated by flacc and Stad Genk, Genk, Belgium
2009 Talents 09/10, C/O Berlin
Riccardo Pezza Photography Prize, honourable mention
Danish Arts Agency
2008 Canon Profifoto promotional award
Select on Tour, 1st prize
2006 Fotowork, Solo exhibition winner
Epson Art Photo Award, Best Class
2005 Epson Art Photo Award, Best Selected Works
2003 Erasmus-Socrates Scholarship

solo shows

2014 Galerie Bohai, Hanover
2013 Triple Seven, Peter Lav Gallery, Copenhagen
Wonderland, SDK Kunstorum, Flensburg
2010 Wandeln 07-10, Centre Bagatelle, Berlin
Wandeln, Epikur Kunstforening, Frederikshavn; Kunstmuseet Brundlund Slot, Aabenraa, Denmark
In Our Time, Goethe Institute, Washington, D.C.
Somewhere in Nowhere, Peter Lav Gallery, Copenhagen
2009 Wandeln, Stadtmuseum Schleswig
In unserer Zeit, C/O Berlin
2007 Geography of Nowhere, Mikro Galerie, Düsseldorf
Wandeln, Orleans Street Gallery, Chicago

group shows (selection)

2016 Det Gamle Slagteri, Østermarie, Denmark
2015 Salon Vol. 5, Dome, Copenhagen, Denmark
2014 Hijacked Australia/Germany, Stuttgart
2013 Rebel House, Bonnefantenmuseum, Roermond, Netherlands
2012 Work and Pleasure, Kunstverein Schwerin, Germany
Eyes on the City, GrazMuseum, Graz, Austria
Looking at the Land, Museum of Art – RISD, Providence, R.I.
Artweek Special, Banegaarden, Aabenraa, Denmark
The past in the present of the future, Stedefreund, Berlin
At Home, Galerie Ludwig, Oberhausen, Germany
Hijacked, Zephyr, Mannheim, Germany
Unhomely Home, Corridor/Gangurinn, Reykjavik, Iceland
2011 Nature Photography, Fotogram, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hijacked, Griffith University Art Gallery, Brisbane; Ann and Gordon Samstag Museum, Adelaide; John Curtin Gallery, Perth, Australia
2010 Behind the Billboard, MK Galerie, Berlin
Statens Kunstfond, Det Ny Kastet, Thisted, Denmark
Hijacked, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney; Australian National University, School of Art Gallery, Canberra; Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne, Australia
Naturae, LaMEC, Vicenza; SiFest, Savignano; Benetton Foundation, Treviso, Italy
Interland, C-Mine, Genk, Belgium
Sense & Sensibility, Rainbo, Chicago, Ill.
One World Is Not Enough, Galerie Merkle, Stuttgart, Germany
C/O Talents, Deutsche Börse Group, Frankfurt on Main, Germany
Über Tage, Kunstmuseum Mülheim, Germany
Now Here, Centrum Beeldende Kunst, Rotterdam, Netherlands
2009 Viel, Galerie Mikro, Düsseldorf
Middle of Nowhere, Lump Gallery, Raleigh, USA
Immodest proposals, Eastern Expansion, Chicago
Narrating a place, Museum Fotografia Contemporanea, Milan
Fluchtwege, Institut X, Bonn
Noise, Raum für Kunst und Musik, Cologne
2008 Vorstellung, Ziegler Temporary, Stuttgart
Reflection, Tape, Berlin; Felsenkeller, Leipzig; Fabrik der Künste, Hamburg
5 years on the run, Orleans Street Gallery, Chicago
Epson Art Photo Award 2005, Goethe-Institute, Singapore City, Singapore
Mind the Gap, Country Club, Chicago
2007 Geography of Nowhere, Voies Off, Arles, France
Epson Art Photo Award 2005, Galeria Grazia Neri, Milan
Pixel, Salle Yehudi Menuhin, EU Parliament, Brussels
Unkraut, Zhou B. Center, Chicago
Heimatbild – Utopie und Wirklichkeit, Kunsthaus, Dortmund
2006 Photowork, Orleans Street Gallery, Chicago
Epson Art Photo Award 05, Goethe-Institute, Rotterdam
Hostel, Art in Display, Chicago
Epson Art Photo Award 06, Art Cologne
Pictures of Lee, Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago
Heimatbild – Utopie und Wirklichkeit, Zeche Zollverein, Essen
Epson Art Photo Award 05, Goethe-Institute, Istanbul
Contemporary Danish Photography 06, Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen
I „heart“ Chicago, Orleans Street Gallery, Chicago
Pixelprojekt-Ruhrgebiet, Kulturbunker Tumulka, Munich
Epson Art Photo Award 05, Art Cologne
2005 Pixelprojekt-Ruhrgebiet, Park of Sciences, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Privatkontakte, 7.Internationale Fototage, Mannheim; Städtische Galerie Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany
2004 500m, Forum für Kunst und Architektur, Essen
2001-06 Sichtwerk, Zeche Zollverein, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Essen

For further information please visit the artist’s website.