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Otto Beck, Ernst Len, Margret Litzlbauer


Extended Photography 1: Works with Photography


Of all media, photography is considered to have the most documentary value. The camera image has the highest evidential value, so to speak. The history of photography, however, is also a history of failed claims, of sophisticated alibis; its major events are precisely the colossal deceptions and errors to which the most militant realists have stooped. Mistrust of the one-dimensionality of the broad understanding of photography, of the apparent omnipotence of photography is the main theme of this exhibition, it is about polemical positions, extreme considerations, which are made by artists who only work episodically with photography, artists who paint, draw and make objects.


Margret Litzlbauer

The artist perceives working with the camera as a mock battle with unrealizable content. The more intensively, but in a playful way, she pursued the aesthetics of photography, the more clearly she became aware of the two-faced nature of the medium. At the end of this painful process, she realized the emptiness of the photographic image, the false pretense of meaningfulness. Margret Litzlbauer levels out the reality gap between nature and representation, she exposes the obscene aping of everything photographic, the mirror function of the photograph, which does not understand the human face and tells an unbearable lie in its place.

Ernst Len

Ernst Len discovered the aggressiveness of the photographic in his works with Polaroid and surrendered to it unconditionally. The instant camera takes the characteristics or non-characteristics of the photographic to the extreme. The Polaroid picture is everyone’s notepad of the most private. The most vivid / the most trivial explodes in front of the lustfully widened lens, the instant camera’s hunger for life is immeasurable, it tears down the last barriers of restraint / art consciousness in those taking the pictures, the snapping makes all shame, all self-adjustment and staging disappear. The Polaroid »pornographs« both the subject and the object.

Otto Beck

Otto Beck adds another dimension to the aesthetic discussion of photography. Through the element of movement, irrational spaces, changing image editing and the subjectification of image editing, film has heightened the aspects of the illusory, the authoritarian of reality, the fragmentation/exploitation of the world. With his installation of running projectors, he draws, as it were, a sum of the hidden motions of mistrust against the moving image. The united front of the projectors throws their images onto a slightly moving sail, the endless loops of the films repeatedly reproduce a constant process, the movement of which is ultimately no longer recognized by the viewer due to the permanent repetition. The cut-up collaged world freezes into non-existence, into an empty, meaningless, motionless overall picture, into a nihilistic final sum.
from: Anton Gugg, FOTOHOF Info, issue 1/1986