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					R E C E PT I ON                            Showroom 2_11

Annette Weisser everyday: abstraction      June 23 – July 16, 2011

Opening Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 6–9 pm
Annette Weisser everyday: abstraction

This exhibition is an experiment: it represents Annette            for a separate project but noticed how the photographic
Weisser’s attempt to ‘release’ a photograph she clipped from       exploration she was conducting at the same time gradually
a magazine when she was a teenager. She found the image            influenced the process. As she sees it, the watercolours rep-
in the supplement of the weekly DIE ZEIT newspaper, and it         resent a supplementary ring of embedding or, as applicable,
has been with her ever since. Accompanying an article about        release. The weekday titles given to the photograph/wa-
early photography in the nineteenth century, the reproduc-         tercolours pairs suggests that the out-of-time photograph
tion shows a group of people in a state of extreme exhaus-         from DIE ZEIT may now be integrated in the passage and
tion – presumably victims of a famine. Weisser kept the cut-       flow of Weisser’s own lifetime, but remains ambiguous in
ting underneath her desktop mat for years; very occasionally,      its matter-of-factness. No answer is given to the question
she glanced at it with the distinct sensation that the image       whether certain images can, or even should, become part of
now in her possession, as well as in her mind, should never        our everyday consciousness.
have existed in the first place.

But why exactly? For a start, it shows people presumably in
front of a camera for the first time in their lives, captured in
a moment of respite from imminent death. The directness
with which the group (or, at least, the ones with strength
left to hold up their heads) stares into the camera starkly
contrasts with the feebleness of their emaciated bodies.
The viewer who is willing and/or able to keep looking then
focuses on the staging. A makeshift studio has been built,
perhaps to accommodate the bulky, clumsy photographic
equipment of the period. The group is photographed in
front of a neutral backdrop; below their feet is sand or soil.
The eight people – three adults, five children (two of them
still babies) – are arranged on a wooden bench as if for a
family portrait. One can imagine how the photographer,
who had lugged his heavy gear to the afflicted region, help-
lessly took recourse to his standard routines because the
visual vocabulary of documentary photography had yet to
be invented. Remarkably, this detachment of effect (malnu-
trition) from cause (parched crops, arid soil, dead animals)
does not seem cynical. Rather, the conventional form recog-
nizable even in this most grisly aberration leaves the picture     Exhibitions at RECEPTION
suspended in an uncomfortable in-between zone that makes
the figures seem less remote.                                      Luigi Ghirri’s exhibtion Atlante and Other Selected Works will
                                                                   be on view in the gallery until July 16, 2011.
As one continues to study the photograph, the bodily con-          Luigi Ghirri also takes part in the 54th Biennale di Venezia,
tours gradually dissolve into a harshly contrasting black-         2007 (until November 27, 2011).
and white composition of lines (bones) at specific angles.
After Weisser decided to have the long sequestered photo-          Summer break from July 17 – September 8, 2011.
graph framed and displayed in her studio, this unexpected
perceptual shift offered a chance to re-contextualize the          Upcoming show after the summer break:
image in a manner similar to the psychological techniques          Jens Ullrich Flieger, opening: Friday, Sept. 9, 6–9 pm
used in trauma therapy. She describes how the unbearable
singularity of the image vanishes temporarily, merges into
the surrounding flow of images via the roundabout routes           Contact
of formal correspondences and/or associational links. The
six other photographs represent a selection that is neither        RECEPTION
random nor intentional, but precisely on the border of             Christine Heidemann
either. For somebody else, different pictures would fulfill        Kurfürstenstraße 5/5a
the same purpose. Weisser chose the photographs spontane-          10785 Berlin
ously from her digital archives, proceeding according to the       T. +49. (0)30. 26 93 14 55
aspects of exhibition/exposure and composition/composure.
The original clipping was subsequently scanned and post- 
processed so that the format matched the other photographs.        Öffnungszeiten: Do–Sa 11–18 Uhr und nach Vereinbarung

Each photograph, moreover, is paired with a watercolour            illustration:
whose ‘soft’, fluid qualities are contrasted with ‘hard edge’      Annette Weisser : WEDNESDAY,2011, watercolour on paper, 65 x 96 cm
paint application. Weisser was working on the watercolours         copyright: RECEPTION contemporay berlin GmbH, Design: Hayn Willemeit

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