Sigune Hamann's Wave provides complex interaction of gestures and greetings at MOSI

By Henry Sansom | 14 December 2012
A photo of a young girl in a garden waving at the camera
© Sigune Hamann

Exhibition Preview: Signune Hamann, Wave, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, until March 3 2013

Sigune Hamann uses photographs, videos, installations and internet works to explore the effects that time and perception have on the construction of mental images.

Her latest exhibition, Wave, is made up of her still images and moving footage of the universal gesture of waving greetings and farewells, an interest that began when she happened upon a collection of photographs from the 1950s of Berliners waving to relatives across the newly-erected Berlin wall.

Compelled to explore the many different meanings and evocations of the simple hand gesture she compiled a series of still and moving images that capture waves ranging from the casual to the profound.

Her cache, which has grown over the past four years, is utilised for this touring exhibition currently hosted by Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry.

Scenes of Jewish families leaving Nazi Germany to find safety in Britain are juxtaposed by the regal waves of royalty. Elsewhere she peppers a range of warm greetings with tearful goodbyes.

Frankfurt born Hamann’s previous works include the walking up and down bit (BFI 2009) and Dinnerfor1 (British Council and transmediale Berlin 2005). She also curated the symposium Stillness and Movement for Tate Modern in 2010.

This latest project, which was commissioned and displayed by London’s Wellcome Collection, she describes as “a subjective archive of images, both staged and found”.

“Beginning with the idea of negotiating contact with strangers, extending to photographic workshops with children, I collect, sort, isolate and juxtapose images ranging from small daily encounters to tragic moments of separation.”

Fittingly placed near the entrance of MOSI, the desired effect is fully realised as viewers enter and leave the building.

  • Open 10am-5pm (closed December 24-26, January 1). Admission free. Follow the museum on Twitter @voiceofmosi.
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