Documentary photography


After the wave. Before the wave.

On 11 March 2011 at 14:46 local time, the worst earthquake ever recorded in Japan occurred on Japan's east coast. My latest photographic work is about the aftermath of the resulting tsunami disaster.


home front – staging war

Claudio Hils had the opportunity to explore restricted access zones of the German armed forces, the type that exist all over the world, but that are almost always off limits. In southern Germany, troops and special task forces are rehearsing potential future military interventions among props from wars of the past as well as in the latest digital test environments.

<!--:de-->Abseits / 51<!--:--><!--:en-->Aside / 51<!--:-->

abseits – aside – à l'écart

Few landscapes of Germany’s Southwest managed to preserve a unique balance of nature, work and culture like the rural space settled between the Danube, the Allgäu and Lake Constance. Yet long ago this idyll began to deceive. Now, where ‘home’ is the nicest word for backwardness (Martin Walser), it is being permiated right into the natural growth, the touristy barrocated blue skies by the harbingers of modernization.



The images in this catalogue are the result of a photographic reconnaissance. They document those industrial regions in Friedrichshafen, where they are located, which to this day decisively characterize the identity of the city. MTU, EADS, ZF Konzern, Zeppelin GmbH. The names of the industrial heavyweights make reference to a conflicting legacy, which includes utopia as well as destruction.



In his photographic projects Claudio Hils explores controversial themes, such as the surreal scenery of war at an army training ground or the inhumanity of urban architecture in the new metropolitan mega-conurbations. In this volume he documents the evidence left by years of violence in Belfast.


Dream City

What would Siena be without the Campo? What would Venice be without St. Mark's Square? The town architects of the past knew well the benefit and the importance of open areas within the city walls. Comparable squares or public space are relatively rare in 20th century architecture. Admittedly vast sums are spent on improving our inner cities, creating new zones for shopping and leisure, but very few cities put any effort into reinstating or creating new high quality open spaces in the suburbs or in residential areas.

<!--:de-->Zielobjekt für Gummigeschosse: Terrorist 3<!--:--><!--:en-->Target for rubber bullet: terrorist 3<!--:-->

Red Land, Blue Land

The present publication contains photographs by Claudio Hils taken at the troop training grounds in Senne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
During man oeuvres Red Land stands for enemy, Blue Land for friendly territory. The artist approaches the terrain with what appear to be standard pictures of landscapes already suggestive of a specific intention. In what follows, the reader will observe a series of mysterious pictures of a seemingly surreal ghost town which, until recently, has provided the setting of numerous rehearsals for military emergencies.

<!--:de-->Kudamm, Berlin, Dezember 1989<!--:--><!--:en-->Kudamm, Berlin, December 1989<!--:-->


Following an individual impulse and having the need to clarify a certain feeling of faintness towards himself, the photographer Claudio Hils has documented a decade of German History since the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. With the author, the whorl of images passes through space, which at arrival is no longer the same, and from which spontaneity, joined by irritations such as vague hopes, grows into a process. Time becomes the axis and the mirror of its breaking.


Tokyo Urban Space

In this exhibition catalogue Claudio Hils devotes himself to the Japanese world. Human beings in the architecture of central bank quarters are the focus of this selection as well as urban scenery with canals and parks, rivers and the tangle of high streets. The coloured slides and the subjects share the same clinical cleanliness.