Wolfram Hahn Presents a 'Disenchanted' Playroom

There are no giggling faces, signs of mischievousness or innocent puppy-dog eyes--only stern, somber faces of austerity. In Santiago's Mall Plaza Vespucio art gallery, Wolfram Hahn’s photographic series Desencantado ("Disenchanted") confronts the viewer with the images of lost souls: children watching television.

Santiago Chile Desencantado
Photo courtesy Wolfram Hahn

We are faced with 13 portraits of children between 3 and 12 years old, lined up in chronological order. Each is fixated on a single point below the camera’s lens at an object unknown to us. They seem to have lost their child-like features and taken on the serious complexions of an adult: cold, sober and contemplative.
Santiago Chile Desencantado
Photo courtesy Wolfram Hahn

Hahn’s photographs depict the spell that television holds over children; they are entirely removed from their surroundings when they immerse themselves in the visual messages on television. Hahn’s idea reveals the dark side of the media world: "The subtle charm of real life is lost under the influence," says writer Daniel Klamm in Deutschen Kuntsverlag, quoted on Hahn's website.

Born in 1979, Wolfram Hahn closely studied the theory of color and composition at the Superior School of Art in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany. The influences of this technical art background have aided the aesthetic style of his documentary style photographs.

For Desencantado each child was photographed with a medium-format Hasselblad camera against a neutral gray backdrop. Their colorful clothes contrast the background, drawing the viewer’s eye immediately to them. The composition of each portrait is balanced as each child is at the center of the frame, further allowing the children to be the absolute focus of each image. Consequently, their lack of spontaneity and naïveté hits us as fast as a sudden slap to the face.

These doll-like figures await your visit until April 19--perhaps you can help them escape the disenchanted playroom.


Through April 19, 2009


Museo Sin Muros, Galeria de Arte Mall Plaza Vespucio

Vicuña Mackenna Oriente 7110, Local A 109

Metro: Bellavista de La Florida

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