Book Review: Exit Ghost – Kai Bornhöft

Written in english for Hatje Cantz Fotoblog – published on August 1st, 2014.


A cover made of real concrete is already a strong start in the discovery of a photobook. The viewer gets first immutable feelings by seeing and touching the material. It’s then step by step that the viewer will grasp Exit Ghost.

Inside the object are printed the images -analog black and white photograph- full page. They are slowly revealing the subject of the photo series. Each image tells page after page a bit more about the situation described by the photographer and about his relationship to the visited place.

White walls, dark windows and grey shadows are composing the set for human silhouettes and giant palm trees. The strong contrast of the sunlight reveals the heat. People seem to work outside at noon despite the climat. Where is this? If you would like to get a confirmation please see the colophon: « Photographed in Dubai (UAE) between 2006 and 2009 ».

Kai Bornhöft travelled several times during three years to Dubai. In all his films he selected 23 photographs to compose the series Exit Ghost. These images are neither proofs nor documents ; they are surviving stones from Dubai. The photographs are symbolic remaining fragments chosen by the artist after encountering a model of life which « doesn’t allow for questions about life by the inhabitant » as he says.

The book Exit Ghost by Kai Bornhöft deals with the subject in a very acurate and exact form. A rare object. It has been published in 2014 by Langhans – a foundation for the archive of Jan Langhans and a gallery for contemporary photography based in Prague. The gallery unfortunately stopped organising exhibitions in 2011 after eight years but Langhans has now started publishing artist books. Great one !

Exit Ghost, Kai Bornhöft
PRO Langhans, Prague, 2014
Hardcover with concrete mounted surfaces
48 pages, Tritone, 19 x 26 cm
Edition of 500, 35 Euro

Cover image: © Kai Bornhöft








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Eva Gravayat
Currently lives in Berlin
Born in Paris, 1985


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