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Philippe Gerlach, Maya Rochat



Exhibition view, Maya Rochat / Philippe Gerlach, “a_nervous_system“, 2012, © Rainer Iglar

Both Maya Rochat and Philippe Gerlach are interested in photography as a medium of expression for the life feelings of a young generation. But rather than restrict themselves to the role of outside observers, they choose to interact with people and their locations.

Philippe Gerlach

Philippe Gerlach sees the photographic act as a process of interaction. “I want to remain as close to reality as possible, like when you keep a diary; but of course photography also involves a certain element of staging. I use cameras that are as discreet as possible in order not to disrupt the relationship between those involved.“
Gerlach’s imagery spans the spectrum from intimate portrait studies as the expression of a special relationship (as in the “Gosia“ series) to entire series such as the photographs of the punk scene in small German towns.

Philippe Gerlach, Untitled, 2008, Silvergelatin-Print, 60 x 40 cm

Maya Rochat

Maya Rochat takes an associative approach, working in larger contexts with contents charged with high symbolism. Her image treatments are always predicated on an uncompromising existential perspective. In her series entitled “Es stinkt der Mensch solang er lebt“, after a Brecht quote, Rochat is working for instance on a counter-draft to the conventional media image clichés of a standardized conception of human beings and beauty.

Maya Rochat, “Sublime is now“, from the series: “Siren“, 2010, Inkjetprint on Alu Dibond, 90 x 70 cm

Both Rochat and Gerlach autobiographically reflect their own lives using the means of photography. Under the common title “a_nervous_system“, both works blend to form a dialogue, yet can still be read as individual presentations. In permanent consultation Rochat and Gerlach have created a special joint installation for FOTOHOF, which they see as a nervous system:
“a_nervous_system– we gave the title of our work a double meaning because our common ground lies in a nervous sensitivity towards the environment. While we do not spend too much time exploring our rationale (snapshot), we do subsequently amplify it with our own feelings and sentiments. And both of us are interested in imbalances, faults, scratches, scurfs… The nervous system we are showing at FOTOHOF is just about in balance, even if it is a precarious one. The screen flickers and the horizon tilts.“