Institut für
Kunstdokumentation und

IKS PHOTO gUG (non profit)


The IKS - Institute for Art Documentation was founded in 2009 by Ralph Goertz and today contains the largest private media archive of contemparary art in Europe with almost 500 documented artists* and 92 documentary films. In 2022, the IKS was expanded to include its own photo institute, the non-profit recognized IKS PHOTO gUG (non-profit).

The aim of the IKS PHOTO gUG is to promote, preserve and convey the medium of photography thru exhibitions and publications.

In addition to retrospective exhibitions of the work of important photographers, thematic group exhibitions will be developed and presented as "touring exhibitions" by European partner institutions. In close cooperation with the exhibiting institutions, the exhibitions will be adapted and expanded to meet individual and local needs. The work of IKS PHOTO gUG focuses on artistic and art historical significance as well as social and societal relevance.


By building up its own photo collection, significant works of photography are to be purchased, preserved, archived and presented in exhibitions. All collection works shall be digitalized and made accessible online.

The works of the IKS Collection form a content-related foundation for the development of own exhibition concepts and represent the attitude of the IKS PHOTO towards the medium but also towards the socio-social obligation.

A practical as well as scientific discourse on the medium of photography is to be conducted in conferences and workshops. The establishment of an international network with institutions within the European Union is planned. In addition to the mediation and further development of the medium of photography, an artistic and cultural dialogue is to be stimulated and made possible on an international level.


IKS PHOTO gUG is to develop into a centre for European photography.



Ralph Goertz (CV)


Ralph Goertz, born in 1970 in Krefeld, studied theater and film studies at the Ruhr University in Bochum and cultural management at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. From 2000 to 2008 he was artistic director of the Kammeroper NRW and developed a new form of performing arts between opera, drama and video art. In 2009, he founded the Institute for Art Documentation (IKS) in Düsseldorf and expanded it in 2022 with its own photography department (IKS PHOTO).

Today Goertz works as a filmmaker, curator of photography and lecturer. In 2011 he received the Delphic Art Movie Award for his documentary 'Robert Mapplethorpe. Shapes'. The exhibition "Martin Parr Retrospective" curated by Ralph Goertz was anounced by the newspaper WELT in 2019 as "One of the nine best exhibitions in the summer of 2019 in Europe!". In 2020 the exhibition 'Subject and Object. Photo Rhine-Ruhr' (curated by Ralph Goertz with Gregor Jansen and Dana Bergmann) at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf has been awarded as 'Best Exhibition 2020'. His main focus in photography is German, British and American photography since the 1960s.


Ralph Goertz