until 16.06. | #1938ARTatBerlin | GALERIE SPRINGER BERLIN shows from 24th April 2018 the exhibition US AND THEM by the artist Michael Schäfer.
In the fall of 2014, Michael Schäfer first encountered videos by Fighters and civilians filmed in the fight for Kobane and put on the net. The radicalism and violence, the unfiltered way of reporting, which delivers such videos via the Internet platform directly into the living room, or on our screens, have not let him go since.
The lack of any contextualization, such as through a reporter or editor, reinforces the immediacy of these images. Added to this is the general hopelessness of those entangled conflicts in the Middle East. We are close to the apocalyptic states in the crisis areas medial and this proximity actually requires action by us, the artist said. But we have no influence on the events, we can not demonstrate against a government, as during the Vietnam War, because too many different forces are involved. We only have the reflection of the states which, after all, should lead to a human and helpful attitude towards the refugees.
For the series “Invasive Links”, Michael Schäfer makes screen shots of videos of the protagonists or witnesses in the war zones and uses people from his immediate or wider environment via digital montage in these video stills. For this he mainly photographs friends, acquaintances and himself under studio conditions. This personal closeness is important to him in order to formulate a collective “we” in order to visually relate “us” to the conflicts. The artist is not interested in pointing his finger at others, but in reflecting on our inability to adequately respond to these conflicts and their medial digital transmission. By superimposing the two competing realities, Michael Schäfer raises up-to-date questions: What does it mean when events transmitted through the media increasingly permeate our reality and thus change it? What room for maneuver do we have for the images and thus for the events underlying them, beyond the role of the viewer or voyeur assigned to us? Through their presentation as large-format wallpaper, the pictures can be experienced directly. They become an impressive part of the room.
In a second work complex (“Night”) we see video stills of attacks or attacks in Germany. Schäfer doubles the image section of these screen shots. He goes to the locations some time after the events and photographs from the same point of view from which the videos were taken. Both moments, that of events and those of a “danube” returned to normality, share the image space of montages and collide exactly in their middle axes. The artist sees his approach as an extended form of a documentary practice. The works are presented as large light boxes.
The montages that Michael Schäfer makes are recognizable as such, since the individual parts of the picture have different qualities. Whether a picture structure with high resolution and sharpness, such as in the pictures taken by him in the picture or washed out and pixellated is essential, because these properties refer to the origin, origin and possibly transfer of the material and thus become the carrier of importance. At the same time, Michael Schäfer assumes that a poor image quality, as with the screen shots he uses, is characteristic of our current time. In their aesthetics and media rhetoric, there are such pictures, in the opinion of the artist, with the constantly improving technology will no longer exist in the future. The viewer’s gaze can plunge into the picture spaces extremely enlarged by Schäfer and register that they reveal very little information about what is hidden under the technical veil of their miserable reproduction. Thus, they also symbolize a time when the general insecurity and aberrations in relation to any information threaten to destabilize our worlds.
Vernissage: Friday, 20th April 2018, 19 Uhr. The artist will be present.
Exhibition period: Tuesday, 24th April – Saturday, 16th June 2018
Artist talk: Thursday, 17t May 2018, 7 p.m.Zur GALERIE SPRINGER BERLIN
Image caption: © Michael Schäfer, Ohne Titel, aus der Serie Invasive Links, 2016, Inkjet print on wall paper, 352 x 252 cm
Exhibition Michael Schäfer – GALERIE SPRINGER BERLIN | Contemporary Art – Kunst in Berlin – ART at Berlin