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Through sculptural actions on photographic prints I engage with the subject and at the same time with the medium.
This results in images, objects, installations, videos that enable new ideas about the apparent as well as about photography.

Work description

The works are based on countless photographs. 
Motifs: the visible surfaces of places, spaces, found objects or people.
I photograph or film these objects as if I were scanning them with the camera, dissecting and analysing them. That's how I get hold of them. This is done partly systematically, partly according to image-forming criteria, partly by including chance. The result is a mass of images. They are often series of close-ups, comparable to film sequences.

Further working steps with the pictures follow: Reassembling, lining up, stacking, mirroring, combining with other materials, especially adhesive tape. Often the photo layer is separated from the carrier material, i.e. photos are "skinned". 
These physical interventions are directly related to the motif. I use paper prints as substitute objects of the depicted, similar to the voodoo cult or as if the promise of reality of photography were to be understood literally. For example, it is not a real cloth that is washed and ironed, but its photographic image. In this way, the photograph mutates into something three-dimensional, e.g. a relief, a montage or a deformable sculpture.
Parts of existing works are then taken up again and used as elements for new projects. I compare this way of working with the growth of mushroom mycelia, with memory processes or dreams. 

In my participatory projects, photography serves to document a social research on the different permeability of individuals' reality bubbles. An example of this is the work "Buddhas and guns", in which I use the camera to ask to enter private homes.

Photography is both motif and material in my work. It is my means of expressing doubt about what is image and what is reality, and of investigating how the two areas relate to each other.

Skinned photograph, 2021
70 x 50 cm
Photo © Eva Schmeckenbecher