PLATES I-XXXI, Lia Darjes, Chose Commune, 2024, 26 x 20.5 cm, 64 pages, HB , ISBN: 9791096383429
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Squirrels, tits, slugs, field mice, ants, sparrows: these are some of the small animals that become the protagonists of Lia Darjes’ mysterious tale. Far from frightening, they captivate and charm with their furtive spirit.

In a style reminiscent of the Dutch masters who inspire her, Lia Darjes captures the secret life of these timid creatures. Placing the leftovers of a meal in her or her friend’s garden, she entrusts the ensuing spectacle to her camera, which she leaves outside for hours or days at a time, its shots triggered by movement. This encounter between staged and chance creates a documentary study of these fellow beings with whom we live side by side, and yet so separately from.

Plates I-XXXI is a silent, colourful series that lifts the veil to reveal that unexpected visitors and magical parallel worlds are closer than we think.


Lia Darjes, born in 1984 in Berlin, lives and works in Hamburg and Berlin. She studied at HAW Hamburg in the class of Ute Mahler.
Lia Darjes became known with Tempora Morte, a documentary still life study that almost iconically exaggerates its subject, small market stalls at unofficial street markets in Kaliningrad. Her first monograph was published with this work.

In 2018, Lia Darjes began teaching photography at the Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie. She has been running the institution together with photographer Jörg Brüggemann since 2023.
She has been represented by Galerie Robert Morat since 2019.

Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, published in magazines, and recognised through awards, grants, and nominations, including the Prix Virginia, Voies-Off, the Lotto Brandenburg Art Prize and an invitation to the Future Talent Programme.

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