Past event

30 March 2010

Postcard Lands—capes Esther Ruelfs

30 March 2010. Free entry.

Observations on the relationship between picture postcards and contemporary landscape photography

The postcard is a profoundly stylised and formalised construct which demonstrates a formulaic point of view. Exploring the standardisation of landscapes in the medium of the picture postcard, visiting academic and curator Esther Ruelfs will explore the relationship in early landscape photography between this standardisation and graphics.

In the historical development of the postcard, photography replaces the schematic description of nature. Central to Ruelfs’ exploration of this topic is the response of contemporary photography to the standardised character of the medium and Ruelfs will also consider the artistic means and processes of serial repetition, appropriation and typology, which she will examine using selected aspects of the touring exhibition project Sightseeing. For more information please visit

Esther Ruelfs studied Art History and wrote her doctorate on the photographer Herbert List. She has written and edited numerous works on contemporary and historical aspects of photography, including Fotografische Leidenschaften [Photographic Passions] (Marburg 2008), Images Recalled—Bilder auf Abruf (Heidelberg 2009). She has curated various photographic exhibition projects, notably Zeitgenössische Deutsche Fotografie [Contemporary German Photography], Museum Folkwang, Essen (2003), Die elegante Welt der Regina Relang [The Elegant World of Regina Relang], for the Photo Museum of the City Museum of Munich (2005) and the 3rd Photo Festival Mannheim Ludwigshafen Heidelberg (2009). She has also worked on academic photography projects, most recently on the research project “Die Grenzen des Fotografischen” [The Limits of Photography] for the Academy of Fine Arts, Braunschweig. She is currently employed as a curator at the Museum of Modern Art, Salzburg.

Esther Ruelfs is in New Zealand with the financial assistance of the Massey University International Visitor Research Fund.

For a map of the location of this Public Lecture at the University of Canterbury please see: