Artist Talk at Camera Club New York

A conversation with the artists Alexander Gehring, Andrea Grützner, Paula Winkler and guest curator Katharina Bosse, held in conjunction with the concurrent CCNY exhibition »The Space Beyond«

Saturday, Jan 11, 2014, 4pm at the CCNY Studio

Free admission. Seating is limited.

Erbgericht © Andrea Gruetzner

Erbgericht © Andrea Gruetzner

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Opening of »The Space Beyond« at the Camera Club of New York

Exhibition opening at 6pm this evening

The Camera Club of New York
The Arts Building
336 West 37th Street, Suite 206
New York, NY 10018-4212

Jan 9, 2014 – Feb 15, 2014
The Camera Club of New York

Curated by Katharina Bosse

Featuring Alexander Gehring, Andrea Grützner, Norbert Eilers, Robert Schlotter, Paula Winkler

The Space Beyond

 



Messages from the Darkroom

Messages from the Darkroom © Alexander Gehring

Messages from the Darkroom © Alexander Gehring


This photographic series investigates the connection between photography and the occult. Based on historical photographs published by early twentieth century parapsychologist Dr. Albert von Schrenck-Notzing, ‚Messages from the Darkroom‘ explores the ability of the photographic camera to capture magical or paranormal phenomena. Schrenck-Notzing, like many other scientists in this era of technical revolutions when modern media began to take its first steps, was interested in occult phenomena such as mediumship and the physical evidence that human trance-mediums were said to be able to produce. By using a photographic camera he tried to give a solid proof that occult phenomena are part of reality. He believed in the objectivity of the photographic image and its technique, which allowed him to exclude any doubt or suspicion of human fraud. The result of his photographic experiments are rather more obscure than illuminative images which are unique in the history of photography. “Messages from the Darkroom“ uses this ambivalent imagery of Schrenck-Notzing‘s historical photographs to ask if photography is sensitive enough to record supernatural phenomena. Between the desire to expose the supernatural, and the acceptance of the technical impossibility of capturing it, the work opens up a space of possibilities where analogues between the photographic technique and occult practices become visible: the darkroom turns into the séance-room just like the camera becomes the medium in trance. Ultimately, the photographic technique, generally understood as a means of objectively capturing reality, is shown in a different light: it seems that during the photographic séance the camera reveals its own magical aura.