STILL LIFE III - Object
Three of the participants focus on carpet-like surfaces:
Judith Huemer’s (A) large pictures are overwhelming at first sight with multicolored patterns of stately swung draperies; at second glance, concealed parts of the body can be recognized under the cloths. As with baroque art, ornamentation and figure are interwoven with one another. Wolfgang Reichmann (A) calls his 36-part photographic work "Patchwork". The technique of the photogram used lets the clothing articles appear as in an x-ray and thereby lends them a floating ease – like angels in an old ceiling painting. Geert Saman (B) seems to photograph picture-filling material. Through the modulations of the surfaces through light and shadow, it is as if he would like to draw a secret from the folds. Tamara Horakova + Ewald Maurer (CR/A) transfer the photographed article, a photo paper roll, into the two-dimensionality of the surface. Through the choice of the perspective – the front of the roll is seen as a ring, and by concentrating on the black-and-white contrast, the crumpled up paper unfolds as an independent existence that seems to vibrate to and fro in the space.
In short videos, Walter Mirtl (A/B) produces a planar effect through a staccato-like cut and a rapid change from always two picture sequences. What is interesting here is how movement is thereby reversed and even living organisms assume an object-like character.
In the 19th century, Paris – Vienna – Berlin were considered both the metropolises and at the same time the laboratories of European modernity. Artists felt magically attracted to these rapidly growing cities.
about 150 years later, these cities have not yet attained their full size.
Artists’ research interest now lies in the examination of migrant structures,
official national historiography, modern
nomadism but also in the search for the association with urban structures, open
space design as well as possibilities of recluse in the ‘big city jungle’.
And: how does the point of residence change artistic and self-reflective creation?
Through the awarding of grants and exchange programs cultural contacts between the three metropolises continue to be cultivated – nomadism encore!
Notes on the above can be viewed in the Month of Photography for the first time in Vienna at FOTOGALERIE WIEN !
FOTOGALERIE WIEN presents artists with photo, video and installation works who have relocated their life and work bases from Vienna to one of the other two cities temporarily or for longer.
Rukschcio (A) begins in her video work “Le Pantheon“ an unofficial intrusion
into the national monument of French historiography.
In her collages she asks herself/us: “Am I a Spice-Girl?“, but just as gladly
steps into the shoes of a politician.
Ralf Hoedt (D) shows books / portraits of political discourses and their trails of usage.
Moira Zoitl (A) examines migrant structures in the eastern districts of Berlin: “Das Haus «Frankfurter Allee 16/0801» (The House, Franfurter Alley 16/0801) is the starting venue – the apartment from which I begin my regular shopping tours.“
Robert Zahornicky (A) defines himself as saunterer, who dedicates himself less to idleness but more to the search for perception patterns.
Susanne Gamauf (A) creates photographic citations on the characteristics of various garden and park architectures. “In the picture the production of the production takes place.“
Johanna und Helmut Kandl (A) relocated to Berlin immediately: “Perhaps the partial absurdity and the contrast of the mood of awakening and the ‘eternal No Future mood’ was simply more pleasant than the feeling of a beginning ‘Neo-Biedermeier’ in Vienna.“
Jörg Burger (A) essentially deals with the recurring questions of perception and of creating something out of what is absent.
"Nothing is genuine, everything is permitted." (Midori Araki)
Midori Araki , co-foundress of gap magazine, considers space as a construct confined from all sides too small – she kidnaps us into a " Garden of Dreams": a mirror cabinet of self reflection, paired with projections of stroboscope light and texts, pictures and sound, which open even the doors to the innermost areas of childhood and memory and lets us enter....
On the other hand, for Sissi Farassat , editor of sioseh, the "smallest photo magazine of the world ", the two-dimensionality of photography and the associated absence of tactile quality is not enough.
She adapts photographs – her own or found footage material - with needle and thread and scatters these with glittering, light-reflecting sequin.
Just as the gold of icon art attempts to convey the intensity of a person’s soul, Sissi Farassat translates and extends this search for the space behind the picture with her sequin....
Come and be amazed!
Works by the photographer Elfriede Mejchar (A) include images of commissioned work situations. The stringency of the technoid objects framed by baroque abundance present a delightful contrast. Frederick Bell (GB/B) photographed still life in the Louvre Chardin and de- and reconstructed their hanging system in his wall pictures. The pillow objects by Frauke Hänke (D) are an ironic commentary on “Comfortable living“, as the image’s title suggests. Christoph Premstaller (A) examines with the help of various light projections the combining, dividing or emphasizing of image parts. Marko Zink (A) photographs his likeness mirrored in household objects; the discourse with space and reflections here simultaneously becomes a social study of solitude.
The camera cuts through time and space inevitably by choosing the moment of the photograph and the perspective. Each photographic picture splits the river of time, separates a ‘before’ from an ‘afterwards’, that are not represented. The enclosed image space refuses its surroundings, simply cuts them off.
Friedl Kubelka’s work is a continual discourse with these immanent specifications of the photographic medium – here in the retrospective, which encompasses so much of what she has not yet shown, it becomes particularly clear. The fact that most of her work is directed at first sight against these restrictions, that they speak of waiving such obligations and exclusions, lets her preoccupation become only the more clearer.
Friedl Kubelka’s most well-known works, the Daily or Yearly Portraits, almost insist on evading the pressure of the non-recurrent moment, the singularity of the time of the photograph, through repetition.
By their sequencing the individual photographs win a temporal dimension, it seems. But pictures that are created one after the other do not result in a film – and a "report" with its suspense-creating moments, the illusion of a "plot" would then again speak of a spontaneity of photographing, which Friedl Kubelka does not trust, cannot trust in.
No "action" is carried from picture to picture, but flowing time and the agreement of the rhythm of the photographs created between photographer and model, a rhythm, which can take both involved to the limits of the bearable: Not just a clipping, but many cuts – do they become any less painful? Or should we relent to the association with a cut in live tissue, which is repeated multiple times for scientific comparative purposes? Friedl Kubelka’s method has something analytic about it, something of scientific precision and thus also distance from the "object" of its observation; this can also be determined in those works which were created long before her decision to pursue studies to be a psychoanalyst. But we shall not let ourselves be deceived: The stringency of Friedl Kubelka’s concept cannot be compared to a Valie Export, which, in the same period, was an important artistic concern for the extension of the spatial and temporal possibilities of the camera. Export’s concepts are defined in such a way that the personal execution by the artist is not necessary – which would be unthinkable with Kubelka - her operational presence as counterpart to the model, as someone there to note, is indispensable - is part of the concept.
When she was asked to photograph municipal buildings for a book project, Friedl Kubelka quite consciously looked for a possibility to develop a similarly precise, disassociated photographic technique.
It took her some time to come up with an idea of how she could transform the photographic rhythm of the "Portraits" into a rule of equidistance, which would allow her to avoid the clear, unique angle by connecting the products of many angles (and concomitantly times): Again she insisted on the form that prescribes the concept, but took liberties in the implementation: The passing of time between the photographs only apparently describes the duration of the path between the individual camera angles – which the viewer at first sight experiences as such. The variability of the lighting conditions points, however, to the fact that hardly regular time intervals can have lain between the moments of photographing. But to recognize this, we ourselves must take some time to look at the architectonic montages of the artist, follow their hypothetical way along the buildings, how they let the gaze slide upward ever further.
Friedl Kubelka has devised this method almost contrary to her original training: Her training at the Graphic Training and Research Institute had to be "product-oriented” as preparation for her work as professional photographer; the goal was to produce "exciting" pictures that were easily readable and lastingly impressive. The fact that many years later, when she was developing a concept for a photography school herself, she did not demand this from her pupils but rather specified complexity and intensity, belongs to the broad field that Friedl Kubelka measures her work in as psychoanalyst, artist and teacher and constantly expands. Add to this the fact that she, contrary to other graduates of the Graphic Training and Research Institute who pursued an artistic career – did not principally want to detract and detracted from photography as a profession. The fact that the complex results – such as her attempts at fashion photography – did not correspond to the usual conceptions is not all too surprising. Here, too, she placed photographs - that were taken consecutively - next to or against each other, in order to give the model more space and time. Such a procedure could hardly serve the quick grasping of the fashionable props of the pictures; apparently Friedl Kubelka lost sight of these as well with respect to the women who agreed to model for her.
But also the single frames, which show people from Friedl Kubelka’s environment, relatives or friends, admired film producers whom she met in the course of the years, never convey the feeling they were created out of a moment: Friedl Kubelka avoided (and avoids) apparently almost in panic the idea of the "decisive" moment, that was enforced during her training period like a doctrine for enlightened photography with the camera and that postulated the rapid visual apprehension as (also) ethical realization. But the fact that she does not consciously try to keep her pupils in the "School for Artistic Photography” from such a method speaks in favor of her openness.
This cannot be so easily imagined: respect for the opposite is one of the fundamental characteristics of this artist, who at the same time creates space for the "model", as it defines and specifies a physical and mental relation to the artist: Time and space of the pictures noticeably measure the flowing lifetime and paced off space of the artist, whose presence becomes strikingly clear in this way at the exhibition at Fotogalerie Wien, although upon her own request none of the large sized "Yearly Portraits" are present in the retrospective. This almost physical presence of the artist within, at first glance, an exclusively conceptional method and the possibility of encountering herself and others without coming too close to them in a voyeuristic manner, must appear special at a time when proximity and a fast moving lifestyle control the field so evidently.
Arnis Balcus is a relentless photo reporter of the private. In his work Myself - Friends - Lovers and Others, he overcomes the barrier between the public and the private.
With his camera as an accomplice, he searches for and captures moments of cordiality and intimacy. The result is a portrait of his own experiences and that of his generation.
The pictures that enwrap us in Klaus Pamminger's installations from Everyday patterns. appear as a beautiful pattern at first glance, a beautiful wall decoration of a cozy, private ambience. At a closer examination, however, it becomes clear that the patterns are fed with the daily flood of pictures in today's media reporting which invade our homes via TV and tell of horror (war, danger, catastrophes, ...) He confronts us with the often fatalistic attitude towards world affairs - the ignorance towards the perceived.
Franz Bergmüller's photo objects remind us, by the form of their presentation, of the exhibits of a natural historical collection. In the tradition of puppets (jumping jacks), they can escape from their rigidity for a short moment, but they stay over-directed nevertheless. The artist thus expresses his ambivalent attitude towards social norms and daily constraints, thereby referring to his wish to free himself from predetermined patterns of behaviour.
The first exhibition of this series surprises with an extension of the
notion of photography: Photography engrosses the three-dimensional space as
an object or installation: "Carolus" by Doris Krüger (A) are table-like
objects. In Copa & Sordes' (CH) video-installation "zimmerbrunnen"
("roomfountain") the water gushes over four monitors and four years.
Eva-Maria Ocherbauer (A/G) appends huge plants directly on a number of walls, so that the visitors find themselves in the middle of the "picture" and nature's elements can become a physical threat even.
The works of the series "Tulipomania" by Margriet Smulders (NL) appear to be photographs at first glance. The luxuriance of her candylike colourfulness and floridity as well as her format demand the same attention like oil paintings and make clear once more, that today's photography presents itself with the same self-understanding as painting.
Ursula Palla (CH), in her interactive video work, leaves behind the print as traditional medium but stays traditional in her vanity theme. As soon as the visitor enters the space of images, the beautiful bouquet of flowers explodes.
Today, the process of arranging natural produce seems to blast the two-dimensional quality of photography. The old struggle between art and nature, which was, on the basis of an imitation and artistry as most realistic as possible in the "nature morte", once celebrated as the victory of art, has entered a new exciting round: Nature, being emphasized in its naturalness, becomes all the more artificial.
Ingar Krauss has been dealing with the topics of childhood and adolescence for some years already. In his work “One knows nothing about the children” (“Von den Kindern weiß man nichts”) he does not search in his poetic portraits the specific outward appearance, but an expression of the children’s inner lives and biographic mouldings. In his pictures one can detect along with the innocence a subtle moment of awakening sexuality. Krauss succeeds in capturing this stage between childhood and adulthood, the melancholy that is perceptible in this moment of transformation.
Marco Perocco reflects this in-between-stage – the moment of innocence and purity as well as the desire for the unknown. In his work ”Teenagers”he showes the characteristics of a juvenile face, not yet moulded by the traces of time. What Perocco captures is the tenderness and frailness of eyes that haven’t seen much yet but are hungry and already show a premonition of the future.
Annabel Elgar’s photographs deal with the own ambivalent memory of the loss of innocence. Her mise-en-sc?ne of places and people radiates a certain uneasiness, which stresses the contradictoriness of this adolescent experience. Elgar’s pictures are complex and rich. A destroyed balloon, a scratch on the knee become the projection surface of the own memories.
In his mercilessly open and grotesque self-producement <”Little Boy”, Steven Tynan himself slips into the role of an innocent child. The helplessness of his naked or barely dressed overweight body makes room for interpretations and questions. Questions on the role and responsibility as a father, on sexuality and age, on vulnerability – questions which he sees himself, as a man living in today’s society, confronted with.
Evgeni Mokhorev, shooting star of the art scene of St. Petersburg, picks out as a central theme of his works the situation of Russian street children. The children produce themselves, and the artist takes the silent observer’s role. Mokhorev foregrounds the frailty of these children, who have to fend for themselves and are forced to live adults’ lives. This particular way of being grown up is also embodied in the postures these young people have adopted for the shooting.