What is a photograph? Where are the limits of photography, between photo and video? What influence is exerted by the conditions of technical production, by the medium itself? What can be achieved through manipulation?
These are the questions addressed by our exhibition Objektiv.
With his wall text With the advent of radio astronomy… (Clear), Cerith Wyn Evans attempts to interpret the inexplicable. It is not always a matter of the great unknown. The inexplicable can also come from shortcomings.
Wolfgang Tillmans turns the tables. His Saros-wall refers to aspects of a solar eclipse. The work is not purely documentary; it intentionally leaves open which of the images derive from the actual natural phenomenon, and which are fake.
The other works by Tillmans elevate error to an icon ( Parkett Edition (1992–98) 1998-018-04, 1998-018-18, and 1998-018-35). In these early photographs, incorrect exposures have resulted in very individual results. The uniqueness of such mistakes makes a photograph – of which there is usually a limited edition – one of a kind.
Violetta by David Claerbout seems motionless. Is it a video still? After a longer period of observation, one notices the slight movement of Violetta’s hair – either because this has actually occurred, or because one has experienced one’s own movement oneself.
The almost frozen video image was already the focus of a work by Andy Warhol in the 1960’s in which he filmed the Empire State Building over the course of several hours. For Bootleg (Empire), Douglas Gordon has now recorded the beginning and the end of a screening of this Warhol film in Berlin. The resulting work is clearly an incomplete copy, in which the conditions of production have left obvious traces.
For The Italian paintings “Roma e Dintorni”, Morgan Fisher placed travel guides on standard Kodak photographic paper. Exposure to sunlight yields silhouettes that are then used as shaped canvas paintings.
Photogenic drawings (3. series from U.S. camera, 1954), the other group of works by Morgan Fisher consist of tracings of Kodak magazine advertisements. What occurs is the transfer of ads addressing the creation of photographs into a completely different medium: the drawing.
Christopher Williams made a poster of one of his most important “photo” motifs, the “Kiev Camera”, but left out all the moving parts ( 332min 17sec). This naturally affects the reverse side of the poster. What makes better sense than to position the “double edition” on both sides of a freestanding wall so that the blank spaces face one another?
Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij photographed one of their flower bouquets in black and white film and then arranged the flowers according to their luminance ( Greyscale (Bouquet VI)).
Using a professional 35mm camera, Karthik Pandian and Mathias Poledna filmed a fashion model, extracting the individual frames of one second of this film as slides. During the course of the exhibition, one frame of 1991 will be presented per day. After 24 days, the second will be over.
The motif of the exhibition invitation, an edition by Cerith Wyn Evans, leaves entirely open what is pictured and how it was created, although it seems obvious that the image was not manipulated.
List of works
Jeroen de Rijke & Willem de Rooij
Greyscale (Bouquet VI), 2005
Cerith Wyn Evans
With the advent of radio astronomy… (Clear), 2010
Cerith Wyn Evans
Something like a picture (For Gustav), 2009
Photogenic drawings (3. series from U.S. camera, 1954), 2002
The Italian paintings “Roma e Dintorni”, 1999
Bootleg (Empire), 1998
Karthik Pandian & Mathias Poledna
Aus “A40 Dükerweg”, 2010
Parkett Edition (1992–98) 1998-018-04, 1998
Parkett Edition (1992–98) 1998-018-18, 1998
Parkett Edition (1992–98) 1998-018-35, 1998
332min 17sec, 2004