Gold / 2010 / Book / People

Bideshi Photostudio

  • Photographer
    Kurt Hoerbst

When wandering through rural Bangladesh with a camera in your hand the sentence â??Bideshiâ?¦chobi, chobiâ?¦! â?? Stranger! Take a photo of me!â?? will soon be heard all around. An unbelievably delighted eagerness to be photographed is definitely there. When Kurt Hoerbst met and fell for the village Rudrapur and its dwellers in 2005 the idea for the project BIDESHI Photostudio was founded. People in Rudrapur live simple, agriculture and craftsmanship dominate everyday life. Family itself as the highest rated value in society, is nevertheless rarely preserved in a photograph as it would be in more western parts of the worldâ?¦ Technology and the arts simply are too far away or not affordable- up untilâ?¦ The project BIDESHI Photostudio, which started off in December 2008 after intense preparations and diligent planning by Austrian Kurt Hoerbst, first and foremost provided a welcome opportunity to earn money for the men of Rudrapur. The experienced bamboo and clay specialists constructed a simple but impressive building within a monthâ??s work â?? by hand! The hut and the entire project were organised in cooperation with Dipshikha, a well-established organisation in Rudrapur. As a close neighbour to the Meti-School, which is well-renowned through various prizes in architecture, the daylight studio offered locals to be photographed professionally from the beginning of February 2009. A glass roof and light Sari-fabrics on the side walls created a soft ambience in combination with the clay ground and back wall. While project assistant Alexandra Grill took digital photos of the families, Kurt Hoerbst photographed the villagers analogue in a large format system. Single portraits in front of the even clay background of course had to be taken as well! The digital data was edited, printed and laminated the same and passed on to the curious models the next day. Surprised by their image (and often amused) they usually welcomed their photographs with great fascination. An exhibition for interested Europeans, as well as a series of bound photographs has now been developed with the analogue picture material. In Rudrapur the photo studio is continued by Dipshika, who already assisted the â??Bideshisâ?? in February and March. After gaining some photographic experience at â??Patashala School of Photographyâ?? in Dhaka, a young and ambitious villager will use the resources provided to keep the photo project ongoing. Alexandra Grill, April 2009

Born in Austria in 1972.
Having been originally educated in
telecommunications, he then turned to photography
beginning his studies in Prague in 1992.
Kurt founded a school of photography in Austria in
1996 and now teaches history of photography,
journalism and he gives lectures at the
St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences.
Publisher of three books and
multiple prize winner in this field.
Kurtâ??s work has enjoyed numerous exhibitions
both home and abroad.
Over the last years, multimedia projects
have been a focal point of his activities.

Publications:
â??Ã?berlebt â?? Menschenbilder Lagerbilderâ?? - 1999
â??Der schwarze Ritterâ?? - 2001
â??Sommerschneeâ?? - 2008

Exhibitions, Performances (Selection)
2006 From village to town â?? Dhaka / Bangladesh
2006 â??staTdT_kunstâ?? - Zurich
2007 â??staTdT_kunstâ?? - Amsterdam
2008 â??Lichtspurenâ?? â?? Lentos Linz
2008 â??StaTdT_kunstâ?? Athens
2008 Backlight 08 / Tampere / Finland