As Bolzano was turning into a ghost town right before Oliver Kofler’s eyes in March 2020 and his daily route to work suddenly led through abandoned streets and closed down businesses, he promptly felt inspired to pick up his camera to capture this unique sight. What started from mere fascination soon evolved into a deeply personal project.
As he was pondering captions for his photographs, he found himself existentially reflective of his own experience in this particular situation, which further heightened his urge to document his impressions. As the title “hidden beauty” suggests, the project is all about small moments of beauty, hidden in a city on standby mode.
He shot with a GOMZ Fotokor, a Russian film camera from the 1930s, that bathes Oliver Kofler’s captured moments in a timeless black-and-white aesthetic. As circumstances of the lockdown required, the entire project was realised in his apartment and an improvised dark room in his basement. Every photo was developed by hand, from contact prints to negatives, with an experimental approach through and through. The photographer expresses a
fondness for analogue photography, specifically because of the manual contact to his work in every step of the process. The result bears imagery that is just as much unique as it is hauntingly familiar.
Oliver dedicates this project to his father.