Founded in 2007 by Sebastian Klemm and Silvia Bonsiepe, Klemm’s Galerie host a space in Berlin for conceptual contemporary art. The gallery represented multiple distinguished artists working within photography at PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai 2019, including Berlin-born artist Adrian Sauer. Sauer’s current exhibition ‘Functionality’ as part of 'TRY AGAIN, FAIL AGAIN, FAIL BETTER - Impuls Bauhaus' at the SANAA Building (Germany) explores the core principles of digital media and photography, questioning the ‘reality’ of photographic images through various installations carefully arranged across the exhibition space. To inform you further about this absorbing exhibition (open until November 3, 2019), Adrian Sauer has taken part in an #ArtistTakeover with PHOTOFAIRS, an exclusive account into his creative process...
“My work deals with the media characteristics and the current photographic language. With my artistic-conceptual approach, I question the conditions of photography and its changing functionality. Thus I doubt the great promise of photography to be an image of reality.
A past, fixed in the picture always carries something deceptive and constructed. In order to make such breaks visible, I developed a series of programs that generate images that reflect the principles of digital media.
With the spatial installation, conceived especially for the unusual exhibition venue of the SANAA building, I reflected my own, direct way on the process of seeing: photographs as objects, graphic spatial bodies and an essayistic sound installation enable a multi-layered reflection on the conditions and challenges of present and future image production.
"Elementary geometric forms and motifs such as windows, reflections, light and shadow, which are emblematic in the history of photography, have also run through this image program"
With the two mirror surfaces of the work "Spiegel mit einem Band" ("mirror with a band") (above), each at a pointed angle to the other, the logic of spatial relations are being undermined. In the mutually mirroring reflections, the exhibition elements multiply in an almost cubist manner. Since the sheet steel is not flat, but rather makes slight waves, the reflected image is slightly distorted and does not remain static. Through these deliberately calculated disturbances, the mirror becomes visible as a mediating and framing medium and the subjectivity of one's own gaze is demonstrated.
What characterizes the photographic language in its digital execution is the theme of "16,777,216 colors in different arrangements" (above). The starting point for this new group of works is originating from a work from 2010, which combines all digitally depictable colors in the standard 8-bit RGB mode in a single image. The 35 images shown here are variations of this original image. Using a self-written program, I have broken down the colors of and RGB color models into individual color pixels and sorted them randomly or according to brightness. Elementary geometric forms and motifs such as windows, reflections, light and shadow, which are emblematic in the history of photography, have also run through this image program. The subjective gaze, the analytical intervention in the functionality of the medium, and the algorithms for calculating the image, form a close connection.
The nature of the Platonic Bodies has occupied the natural sciences and humanities for centuries (above). They are convex bodies of congruent, regular polygons with the greatest possible symmetry. In the exhibition they structure the space as objects. The variability of the strict geometric calculation is demonstrated by the changing perspective of the viewers and the changing solar radiation. The body shapes and relationships shift with the movement, creating a graphic interplay of light and shadow.”