The American photographer Lucas Blalock demonstrates the work process that goes on behind his photographs. Equally interested in both the history and the possibilities of photography, he starts with classical studio photography using an analogue large-format camera, and then scans the negatives and processes them digitally. Instead of disguising the digital processes, he leaves them perceivable, creating unique hybrid forms between traditional representations of objects and total alienation. His works thus reflect not only contemporary production methods of photographic images, but also seeing and the complexity of photographic reality.
Annette Kelm is also interested in approaching our optical perception. Drawing on the artistic conventions of advertising photography, like Elad Lassry or Roe Etheridge, her arrangements seem generally cold and calculated. Her photographs are created using the means of industrial and advertising photography. Instead of placing her objects on a neutral background, Annette Kelm often makes the background itself into the subject of the image. Whatever seems to stem from reality is then converted into a formally developed hyperreality, which then loses its legibility. But the strict orientation of formal criteria, the elimination of narrative elements, and the deliberate irritation caused by the insertion of collaged props thwarts the viewer. Her photographs thus become new spaces (of thought) that are balanced between precision and ambiguity, space and surface, and objectivity and abstraction.
Antje Peters’s works deliberately deconstruct the concept of perfect high-gloss photography: she paints expensive cosmetic products with felt-tip pens and tapes them into amorphous bundles with adhesive tape that she positions in the middle of the photograph, or she bunches colored pencils together with a Swatch wristwatch. A spilled glass of water, exotic fruits, perfume, marbles, currency, and CDs are arranged more chaotically than perfectly choreographed with soft candy, playing cards, and hair shampoo on a black background—she is always interested in the handicraft behind the perfect, smooth, and cold appearance of digital product photography. This artistic departure from known visual strategies in the advertising world is also being reflected in the presentation of her framed works at C/O Berlin, by consciously balancing between commercial window display and artistic installation.
Oskar Schmidt’s clear and highly reduced images are reminiscent of classic panel paintings. With mirrorlike surfaces, hidden objects, and isolated portraits, they are the result of digital image manipulation and careful arrangements. Schmidt often refers to icons of the history of painting and photography. At the same time, his images refer directly to so-called stock photography—flawless, mass-produced studio images that are available on image databases or from agencies without copyright or authorship and are free of charge. However, Schmidt is less concerned with the perfect reproduction of the original or the staging of the object and the figures themselves: he is more interested in photographic translation and artistic variation. His objective and minimalistic photographs bring up questions that go beyond mere reproduction in photography technique.
Guided tours in english language every Saturday at 6 pm.