Candida Höfer’s first approach to photography occurred when she worked for newspapers as a portrait photographer. She later enrolled at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf to study film in 1973, but transitioned to photography in 1976, becoming Bernd Becher’s student.
Her work –along with the works of Andreas Gursky, Axel Hütte, Thomas Ruff and Thomas Struth—is framed within the tradition of German photographers, direct heirs to the conceptual aesthetic and teachings of Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf; along with Thomas Ruff, she was one of the first of Becher’s students to use color, showing her work as slide projections.
The recurrent subject on Candida’s Höfer work, since the 70’s, is the space that human beings produce through architecture and the way they live in it. The artist places herself in the spectator’s point of view that is at the same time the user’s point of view. Her work consists on identifying and perceiving the existence of compositions that existed before she was aware of them and that she leaves unabridged. Photographs of indoor spaces, of public and semi-public buildings where the order and disorder that derives from its communitarian function is revealed. The purpose of this examination is to visualize the architectonic space as a frame of human relations. Each one of the represented spaces belongs to a social space, a space that constitutes or is constituted by social relations.