Kategorie-Archiv: review///review

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the others are we : interview

“the others are we” : video composite portrait of a city

Interview with the German artist Florian Tuercke during the exhibition “the others are we” at con[SPACE] video gallery, Atelierfrankfurt, Frankfurt/Main, Germany. For the exhibition, the artist produced a composite video portrait of faces from Frankfurt and other European cities. Exhibition curated by Michaela Filla Raquin and Raul Gschrey, interview conducted and produced by Raul Gschrey. Additional material by Florian Tuercke, Nicholas Singleton & Raul Gschrey. Historical photographic material by Francis Galton, Special Collections, University College London. www. conspace.wordpress.com : www.gschrey.org : www.floriantuercke.net

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Interview @ BiG

Interview von Raul Gschrey mit Michaela Filla im BiG (Büro für interdisziplinäre Gesprächskultur) im ATELIERFRANKFURT. Das komplette, bebilderte Interview zu künstlerischem und wissenschaftlichem Forschen und Räumen zu Gegenwartskunst in Frankfurt, sowie der aktuellen Ausstellung im Atelierfrankfurt gibt es auf Pudding Explosion.

Michaela: Raul, Du bist Künsler, Lehrer und Forscher und arbeitest zur Zeit an Deiner Promotion zum Thema “Composite & Eigenface: Histories and Continuities of Human Measurement between Arts and Science” und beschäftigst Dich besonders mit der Technik der Kompositfotografie. Was genau beutet Kompositfotografie und warum beschäftigst Du Dich damit?

Raul: Also die Kompositfotografie ist eine ganz merkwürdige fotografische Technik. Sie wurde Ende des 19. Jahrhundert von dem viktorianischen Wissenschaftler Francis Galton entwickelt. Durch die Überblendung von menschlichen Gesichtern versuchte Galton auf visuelle Spezifikationen zu schließen und darüber Typisierungen herzustellen. Er ging davon aus, dass sich durch diese Technik zeigen lässt, wie zum Beispiel der typische Verbrecher oder ein gesunder Soldat des damaligen Empire aussieht. Dahinter liegt natürlich die Idee, von äußerlichen Charakteristika auf innere Dispositionen schließen zu können, d.h. anhand der Größe von Nase, Augen, Mund usw. psychische Probleme oder kriminelle Eigenschaften zu erkennen. Galtons Kompositfotografie bezieht sich auf ältere physiognomische Konzepte, als man die Maße und Proportionen vom menschlichen Kopf bzw. Gesicht nahm, um anhand dieser auf Charaktereigenschaften zu schließen. Galton gilt übrigens heute als Begründer der Eugenik, also einer Vererbungspolitik die darauf abzielte, den Anteil positiv bzw. negativ bewerteter Erbanlagen zu vergrößern bzw. zu verringern. Seine Theorien wurden später zum Bezugspunkt nationalsozialistischer Rassenlehre.

Was mich besonders an der Technik interessiert, ist, dass sie zu Beginn der Fotografie entstand. 1870 war die Fotografie ein junges Medium im Findungsprozess und bewegte zwischen einer mechanischen, objektiv-wissenschaftlichen Darstellung der Realität und künstlerisch kreativen Ansätzen, bei denen es eher darum ging Stimmungen auszudrücken. Kompositfotografien, die zur vermeintlich wissenschaftlichen Analyse eingesetzt wurden, tatsächlich aber eher wie Geisterbilder aussahen, lagen irgendwo dazwischen. Weiterlesen

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grenzlinien: art as knowledge…

art as knowledge: situational geography of the borderlines. a review by alesya krit

Taxer, Christine und Raul Gschrey (Hg.): grenzlinien. von grenzlinien, grenzüberschreitungen und migration. Frankfurt am Main: gutleut verlag, 2013.

The book is a collection of travel notes, diaries, expressions of activists’ opinions, event reports, and encyclopedia excerpts on the organizations involved in border management. It is a type of intriguing clipboard, one in which articles are given more relaxed formats with small-cap titles and a maximum length of five pages.

This book creates the potential for a multiplicity of layers through which the topic of borders and border crossing could be approached. One could associate this book with the field of situational geography, the study of interaction of human and natural complexities organized around the descriptive research of different sites, in this case – borders. This unique mix offers readers an opportunity to connect border-related themes that perhaps would not otherwise have been integrated into a dialog with each other. An analysis of this network of ideas is not predetermined, however, so the reader is encouraged to discover the potential themes him or herself.

Without a profound theoretical framework, this book is mainly based on personal experiences, art projects, and the well-stated political opinions of the contributors. It is a genuine invitation to explore the potential of the topic, criticizing the existing systems and questioning the state of politics that prevails in border management, particularly in the EU.

Read the whole review & the German abstract

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Mug shots & Burning Caravans

Review of the exhibition „La Traversée“ by Mathieu Pernot in the „Jeu de Paume”, Paris, March 2014.

The exhibition „La Traversée“ by Mathieu Pernot in the “Jeu de Paume”, Paris opens with a wall of photographic portraits: small and large-scale, colour and black and white. The subject of all images is a boy turning into a man over the time, offering glimpses into his life. The portraits of the Roma individual set the tone for an examination of concepts of sedentary and nomadic living life.

Entering the exhibition space, in a niche on the left hand side, a work compiled from historical identification documents, interviews and photographic portraits shows how non-conform, nomadic behavior was restricted through heavy police pressure far into the 20th century. The personal stories and artistic portraits contradict the externally prescribed identity in the signaletic cards and nomadic passes.

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In another work, on an adjoining wall, the historical mug shots and documents are contrasted with a series of photo-machine portraits that the artist produced with the children of the Roma family he is working with since his university days. The self-portraits hint at the ongoing administrative pressure directed against the non-sedentary population.

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This is not restricted to the distant past as a series of large scale photographs of today’s disciplinary institutions, prison yards illustrate. A series of portraits shows family members trying to communicate with the inmates beyond the high walls. These state institutions still extend their influence in an extraordinary manner on the non-sedentary population.

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In the next part of the exhibition, this apparatus of identification and population management meets images of sedentary life in the 20th century, concrete housing structures, their de-individualising character, but also their increasing disappearance as overcome and no longer acceptable spaces for residence.

Photographs of a burning caravan and alighted faces of a group of onlookers terminate this circle of a description of society that goes way beyond the documentary realm. Mathieu Pernot is mixing and composing, comparing and opposing story threats and offers new perspectives on – and readings of – our pre-structured and often unquestioned realities of contemporary life and questionable strategies of upholding this status quo.