I create photographic works that evolve out of a sculptural process. I conceive of and construct the object to be photographed.
The initial conceptual impetus for a photograph is often a found image, sometimes historical, taken from the field of architecture or art.
To realize my visual concept, I construct the subject matter of the photograph with the help of cardboard models and a diversity of everyday objects.
Although the picture space in my photographs appears to be extremely heterogeneous and broken, the images are not photomontages in the conventional sense. The photographs bear witness to a sculptural process that took place in my studio. The disparate materials, lines of sight and levels of reality were in actual, physical contact with each other. Anamorphic models – models that have been constructed for a specific camera viewpoint, appearing distorted when another viewpoint is adopted – are often integral to this process.
My recent photographs draw on the formal vocabulary of modernism, for example, as developed in the Soviet Union in the 1920s.
Underpinning these works is always a distinctive overall composition that I have borrowed from Suprematist paintings (for instance from Lazlo Moholy Nagy or El Lissitzky). The painting serves here as a structural foundation, into which other visual elements are integrated, to be ultimately combined. On second glance, however, the compositions revert back into the various separate components – constructed architectural model, photographic surfaces and everyday objects – that first came into contact in my studio.
In some of the works I have integrated photographs of buildings of the Soviet avantgarde. These images reference original photographs, which date from the time of the buildings’ construction in the 1920s, and which, in the same way as the buildings, have reached iconic status.
I work with both photographic and painterly works of Russian Constructivism, bringing them, through an act of formal/aesthetic transfer, back into the present. My work uses the medium of photography to both reflect on and interrogate the aesthetic of Modernism.
The photographs shouldn’t be viewed as isolated objects but should be experienced as one element within a dialectic of image and space. I produce installations, where the images are placed into a constructed context. Using this strategy in the past, I have, for example, produced wallpapers whose patterns referenced architectural structures. The architectural structures were built in cardboard or polystyrene, photographed, and the wallpaper produced from the photographs. Using these wallpapers I was able to occupy both entire rooms or parts of rooms, and place my photographic works into these spaces.