Out-and-out Ultimate Images

Hamburg, Deichtorhallen, November 2015-February 2016. Sarah Moon, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Ingo Taubhorn, Alexandra Cox translator Hamburg Deichtorhallen Deichtorhallen Hamburg Sarah Moon Now Then Ingo Taubhorn

by Ingo Taubhorn Ingo Taubhorn

In interviews, Sarah Moon has very often declared her early unease with the substantial banality of fashion photography. Working as a model herself, she knows what she is talking about, in front of and behind the camera. She has described the stylistically controlled context of product, situation, model, staging, and deadline pressure, along with the subsequent media exploitation, as a lamentable state of nonexistence, of lack, of interchangeability, leveling, and emptying. She has called her own mode of production a slow, intuitive manner of proceeding. Year on year, fashion companies and media inundate the public with press images that fix or suggest an actual or imaginary identity of a short-lived style and lure out a corresponding purchase stimulus. To Sarah Moon, purely formally this is the exclusive display of a vacuum, which signifies nothing other than the exposing of the covetable object to sale and the exhortation to copy and consume. A visual act of indecent proposal which, Moon believes, repulses, levels, and abolishes every form of sentimental perception and of individual visual language, every free and emancipatory expression of art. Hamburg Deichtorhallen Deichtorhallen Hamburg

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Time pervades life – there is no recurrence Ingo Taubhorn

A short consideration on the essence of time leads us further: Everything that we as people live through, that we experience, that we are able to express in everyday life, language, dance, literature, art, music, photography, and film, that we hear and see internally and externally or record using other senses, is subject to the forms of viewing space and time: in the adjacency of simultaneous impressions and in the chain, in the sequence of successive perceptions, continuity and discontinuity, in development and leap. We receive sentiments and classify them and their effects – their emergence, their arrival, their appearance, their paling, fading, and vanishing – in the coordinates of space and time, of our life space and our life time. In the process we are more or less aware of the uniqueness of the successively passing moments of our lifetime. The uniqueness of every moment of our life means one thing: There is, strictly speaking, no recurrence, no repetition, no routine, but there is only the new, differences, contrasts, sundry things. Recurrences do not exist in themselves, they are imposed only on account of habit and conditioning. And the artist Sarah Moon rebels against precisely that. She renders the image beholder uncertain. She throws him out of the space of ordered identity into the time of dichotomy and chaotic difference. The content, the object, the subject of each individual image is uncertain. Time and space become blurred. The beholder accesses the image in its very structure and meaning. Image structure and composition are multivalent, irregular, and segmented. Image sharpness is often retracted. The artist’s later shots and edits, in particular, bear a gray haze or traces of impairment, a haze that retracts sharpness, details, surfaces, and color values into the imprecision of a painterly and graphic imagination or of an emerging or fading memory. The images contain their own puzzles. True and untrue stories, where there is nothing to tell or where there would be much to tell. They are wrested from the outer life, from professional compulsion, from inner fantasy and from societal time. They are traces of an escape, first from the field of fashion and then from the world. “Time is running after me and screaming: ‘Stop, thief’” (Sarah Moon)

Celebration of colors Hamburg Deichtorhallen Deichtorhallen Hamburg

The catastrophic scenario of the dissolution of common visual worlds and views in a symphony of endlessly scaled gray tones is interrupted or expanded by colorful shots of fashionable details, human bodies, portraits, flowers, and animal models. The luminosity of the color values, raised into the unreal, articulates beyond objective reality “humor, distance, and abstraction” (Sarah Moon) – self-sustaining visual worlds between Impressionism, Symbolism, and New Objectivity. Photography and painting converge in order to depict life as a precious moment, as a vital state of color and energy.

The films and photography

Sarah Moon’s short films transpose fairytale motifs by Charles Perrault and Hans Christian Andersen as symbolic reflection or as realistic adaption, archetypes of the individual state between dream and reality, world and counterworld, childhood and growing up. The fragmentary narrative texts, the syntax of film, and the photography-analogous possibilities of image editing, the ramification of the plots strands, the alternation between inner and outer world among the main protagonists, all this keeps the use and meaning of the photographic image motifs and of the corresponding film moments, mostly in black-and-white, reversible and ambivalent. Photographs are used as the artist’s direct self-citations and identifying marks between filmic and photographic shot: as puzzle, interruption, insertion, reflection, signpost, perspective, and mood specification for the filmic process. The actual dimension of the filmic, the inexorable temporal-linear succession, thus acquires two modes of manifestation: either as appearance and sequence of photographic, or respectively electronically animated images, or as a course of events of moving filmic settings in the flow of the outward plot and in the dramatic development of inner moods. Hamburg Deichtorhallen Deichtorhallen Hamburg

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