Photographer & Writer
Viktor Hübner’s artistic practice stems from a deep natural curiosity for other human beings and their fate. He explores themes of community, displacement, ideology, and socio-political tensions using photography, audio-recordings, and written accounts. He believes in the importance of contributing fractions of the present narrative to create a perspective of time; lending awareness to the complexity of identity, society and contemporary issues.
Hübner was born in Gummersbach, Germany in 1988 to a family of ethnic Russian German repatriates who emigrated from the former Soviet Union. His family history, pervaded by identity turmoil and uprooting deep in the family tree, shaped him from a young age. The personal fates of his grandparents and relatives attuned his sense of human the experience and urged Hübner to preserve stories for posterity. From an early age he developed a fierce fascination with the arts and the story of mankind. Hübner received a Bachelor of Arts in visual communication at the University of Applied Sciences Mainz in 2016, and a Master of Fine Arts in photography at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2019. Additionally he completed courses in ethnography at Brown University and anthropology at RISD, which greatly inform his current work. Combining his passion of history and the arts, he records small layers of contemporary history through his words and lens.
Hübner finds his subjects in different communities, in his own family, and often enough by chance when covering long distances by hitchhiking or by foot. In ‘Onkel Franz’ the viewer becomes intensely aware of the fragility of life and hope. In 2013 his uncle was diagnosed with a severe form of cancer and was given an estimate of three months to live. Hübner stood by him and and began documenting a dark and painful path, where they were left with nothing but the hope they cling to. In ‘Das Leben ist für uns.’ he visits the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Northern Iraq during the war against ISIS in 2016. This body of work gives a unique glimpse of the facets of the PKK, their ideology, aims, and influence through personal conversations with the guerrilla fighters. For his most recent project, ‘The Americans I Met’ he collects portraits of, and conversations with, people that Hübner encountered during a series of cross-country hitchhiking trips across the United States covering a distance of over 26,000 km. His journey represents an exploration of what it means to be American in the Trump era and the issues that affect Americans, both personally and politically.
In 2017 Viktor Hübner was awarded with the internationally renowned Fulbright scholarship for representing German culture in the USA for the mutual and cultural understanding of both countries. He is also the recipient of a Rosanne Somerson scholarship and a RISD Fellowship, among other awards. Hübner currently lives and works in Nümbrecht, Germany.
Born 1988 in Gummersbach, Germany
- 2019 / Master of Fine Arts in Photography, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
- 2016 / Bachelor of Arts in Communication Design, University of Applied Sciences, Mainz, Germany
- 2009 / Advanced technical college entrance qualification, Richard-Riemerschmidt-Berufskolleg, Köln, Germany
Awards & Honors:
- 2019 / Shortlisted, BarTur Photo Award with “The Americans I Met”
- 2018 / Rosanne Somerson Scholarship, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, USA
- 2018 / RISD Fellowship, Rhode Island School of Design,
- 2018 / Graduate Project Grant Fellowship, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, USA
- 2017-2018 / Graduate Fellowship, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, USA
- 2017 / FULBRIGHT, program of the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, USA
- 2014 / DAAD PROMOS, German Academic Exchange Service, Bonn
- 2019 “In Close Range”, ClampArt, New York City, New York, USA
- 2019 “RISD Grad Show”, Convention Center, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
- 2019 “If You Touch, You Might See”, Granoff Center for the Arts, Brown Arts Initiative, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
- 2018 “New Photography”, Graduate Biennial, Sol Koffler Gallery, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
- 2017 Woods-Gerry Photo Triennial, Woods-Gerry Gallery, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
- 2017 “Nine of Them”, Red Eye Gallery, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
- 2016 “new final final” End of Year Exhibition, University of Applied Sciences, Mainz, Germany
All images, text or media © 2013 – 2021 Viktor Hübner