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Ken Schles

The Geometry of Innocence

With this first individual German exhibition of Ken Schles’ work, C/O Berlin presents motifs taken in various cities and placesin North America and Europe that record the subtly casual and yet meaningful moments of everyday life. Images are a “preferred instrument of everyday propaganda”, and are seldom questioned. Schles sets this utilization of images against the enigmatic visual language of his “street photography”. It is only ona second viewing that one discovers in the photos moments of powerstruggles, brutality and pressure which characterise social intercourse, particularly in large cities. Ken Schles worked for more than 10 years to produce this current photographic essay “The Geometry of Innocence”. In it he expands his New York focus with pictures taken in cities such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nevada, and London. The book takes the reader far from the streets of New York onto the deck of an aircraft carrier, into a prison execution chamber, to a hospital’s intensive care ward and onto the dance floor of a discotheque. With “The Geometry of Innocence” Schles expands “street photography” into a broader examination of places where the search for self-esteem clashes with a vast array of powerful social pressures. The innocence suggested by the title of the book, is borrowed from the Bob Dylan song “Tombstone Blues”.  Ken Schles captures and amplifies life’s small daily battles, to describe the unintended societal consequences of ignorance and violence in shaping contemporary life.