Free Choice / Conceptual Photography | Nominee

Claudia Reinhardt-Teljer

Berlin / Germany

Tomb Of Love - Grabkammer der Liebe


In Tomb of Love, I recreate the deaths of couples who ended their lives in a suicide pact. The progression of events and the persons involved are based on true stories.

In many cases, political pressures were the reason for the suicide pacts.

For instance, the Jewish Gottschalk and Klepper families, who were under threat of deportation by the Nazis.
Stefan Zweig was able to emigrate from Germany, but was unable to bear ‘the destruction of his spiritual home, Europe’.
Arthur Koestler suffered from Parkinson’s disease and left this world by his own hand together with his wife Cynthia Jeffries at the age of almost eighty.
The spectacular death of Heinrich von Kleist and his girlfriend immortalised the unappreciated poet. Their bodies were found on the shore of Berlin’s Lake Wannsee.
Less prominent were husband and wife Michael and Monika Stahl, who died together of asphyxiation by exhaust gases in their car. In a suicide note, they gave their fear of social decline as the reason for their act of despair.

The work shows 10 couples and 23 photos.


Claudia Reinhardt-Teljer was born in southern Germany in 1964.

In the age of eighteen she left her home town to live for one year in London. Back in Germany she studied philosophy and literary history in Heidelberg. After two years she broke her studies and started to teach herself in photography.

She moved to Berlin to work as a photo assistant. After few years she moved to Hamburg to work as a freelance fashion photographer.

Her work was published in different magazines (Szene, Tempo, ID- London).

In 1988 - 1994 she was a student at the art academy in Hamburg. Her main teacher was Bernhard Johannes Blume.

In that time she founded the feminist art magazine Neid (Eny) together with Ina Wudtke and Heiko Wichmann.

Through a grant from the DAAD (Deutsch Akademischer Austauschdienst) she was able to live and work in Los Angeles, where she visited the University of California and the Irwin University, California. After this year she moved back to Berlin.

In 2000 she started her teaching job at the Art academy in Bergen/Norway. She held that position as associated professor until 2012.

Claudia Reinhardt-Teljer’s work has recently been featured in solo exhibitions at Galerie prinz george, raum für Kunst (2016) and Galerie Malopolski Ogród Sztuki (2016), as well in numerous group exhibitions including Radical Gestures- Uncanny Feminism at the Coreana Museum, Seoul, Korea (2015) and Global Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum, New York (2007).

CRT published tree monographys: Killing – Me Softly- Todesarten, Aviva Verlag, Berlin 2004, No Place Like Home, Verbrecher Verlag, Berlin 2007 and Tomb Of Love Verbrecher Verlag, Berlin 2016.

Reinhardt- Teljers lives and works in Berlin and Oslo.