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The daughter of a ballet dancer and a theater critic, it is not unusual for Höfer to occupy her photography practice with theaters and opera houses; a subject so dear to her as her childhood memories. Typical of Candida Höfer, the artist has photographed empty interiors of libraries, museums, palaces, and theaters, focusing on the cultural spaces free from human presence. As stated by the German artist, "spaces may or may not invite the image—if they do, they mostly do it with their spatial layers of time… It is then the image that takes the place of the space; the image in its own right."
The self-imposed subject restrictions evident in her project are both cultural and formal in nature. The Baroque, modern and contemporary interiors Höfer captures through her lens provide a “formal portrait of the social itself,” as it has been defined in Europe since the Enlightenment.
"I approach the subjects more or less methodically: shooting from the stage to the audience, from the audience to the stage, from side to side, and then moving on to any other areas in the space that I discover during the process. One of the reasons for doing it this way is purely pragmatic: I always work under time constraints. Because I use available light, the shots tend to take a long time, and such places are always alive — rehearsals are scheduled, alterations to the sets are being made and technicians and cleaning people are usually waiting." —Candida Höfer