Artist: Cieslik and Schenk
Venue: Catherine Bastide, Brussels
Exhibition Title: If And Only If
Date: June 18 – July 15, 2009
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy Galerie Catherine Bastide, Brussels
The relation between photography as medium to represent truthful aspects of the world and the conditions of mediated perception has been looked into under various angles. In order to avoid blurring the examined object Cieslik and Schenk construct and generate their images entirely with the computer. Literally inventing their images, the work does not only consist of a representation of a motif but also in their installations Cieslik and Schenk provoke the semblance of photographic work. Since the elaborate process of developing these works is rather long they communicate an articulate intensity and concentration though the imagery seems incidental at first sight.
In their small format, carefully framed lambda-prints Cieslik and Schenk do not stop at the point of recreating a photographic image but rather investigate in the rhetoric potential of the interrelation among image and medium. Directing the viewer into the images along seemlingly amateurish perspectives and commonplace motifs they consequently refuse to factually inform about the subjects depicted. We get more than we see. The awareness that we look at photo-like extracts of reality which have no reliable counterpart in the real world draws the attention to the “grammar” of the pictorial language. The use of fictitious elements makes clear that we are willing to follow the inner locic of any picture.
The presence of hidden codes in the architectural motifs and in the still lifes is sensible—though more as starting point for the work than as illustration of a subject matter. For example, the perspectively flattened image of a city skyline seen through a wirefence could be read as an excessively worked out and thus needless vertical-bar chart: they steadily filter the question of what to depict and which degree of realism and detail deflects and irritates pictorial information.
Beyond the boundaries of the successful and technically perfect photograph Cieslik and Schenk create aspects of a self-contained world. They utilize this world—not as a surrogate for realty but to create the illusion of photography in order to analyse the process of making images. It is a reconstruction of the image itself, creating the awareness that the context of each new image can not rely on pre-given categories or genres.