JOERG BURGER / WALTER MIRTL
from 04.05.2000 to 03.06.2000
Walter Mirtl, Joerg Burger
The shown large format, partly multiple component photographic works show controversial aesthetic formulations colliding with each other: gestures become sculpturally disguised symbols and collages. Theatrical sequences that are condensed into one picture hang next to those importunate, misplaced short glances on empty scenes, which seem to be reduced to their architecture. These are not pure reproductions of reality, no clear objects, respectively, having any relation to reality, but they become constellations of reality condensed into codes, where connections that are normally hidden come to light. Banality can suddenly, almost insidiously, become a territory of the mysterious and wondrous things can be seen in everyday life. The pictures leave a track of dissecting perception that changes identities and takes objects, gestures, places, and situational events out of context and concentrates their different accents into one medial language. The collection of works demonstrates a certain simple directness in formulation and expression, as a reflexive construction of possibilities and effects of the language of pictures, without any particular method, without a system, but with emotional security. The frontality and format of the pictures strengthen the ceremonial and often scenic quality and lend them an emotional, if not quite aggressive expression that discards stylistic inambiguity and positions itself firmly against intellectual mysticism. These are colourful and aggressive pictures that show content, present as constitutional elements that are ambivalent. The photographs are surely not narrative, but evocative and created as an especially personal realisation. Content as such is difficult to describe, hermetically sealed, left to symbolism and the reaction of the beholder. The pictures hint, they do not define conclusively and become passions with any precision or described by visual or atmospheric aids.
Joerg Burger, 3. 19, 2000
If the endeavour to make illustrations of nature gives photography the greatest chance to recognise reality, then the fascination with photographic pictures lies in showing the previously unseen, unknown, and simultaneously in recognising what has already been experienced.
My mostly in large format photographic works in colour or black and white show objects, which, in their daily presence, fall victim to thoughtless intimacy. Combined with humans and depictions of animals that are placed in the scene with symbolic gestures, they create tension between the unknown and the familiar. The calculated placement of the familiar, which simultaneously leads to the hopelessly strange, takes the important step into the absurd.
That’s how familiar, banal objects and situations whose meaning and purpose is firmly established and therefore fulfil certain expectations, in the interplay between arrangement and standards of illustration, as well as light and focus, suddenly appear in a context which cannot be resolved with logic. This causes a breach; in place of the familiar comes speechlessness; the content in the pictures is deprived of any language association, it is a unique experience. It is the attempt to use the language of pictures as the only possible means for expression. The associated ambiguity is a decisive moment in my work. It follows that the assignment of numbers, instead of titles, seemed to be the better choice for the photo indicators.
Walter Mirtl 3.20.2000