Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung (MAZ) from 22.10.2011



(translated from: DER BEWEGTE REGISSEUR)

Exhibition: The series “Running Direction” by the photographer couple Koschies in the Sperl Gallery. Time coagulates in these photographs artfully shot on a time-slit camera.

Surrealist photography in the Sperl Gallery – how does that work? In the beginning, everything is real: the performers, the props, the photographers, the technique, the recording material. What then emerges as a photographic image is surreal. Who is not reminded of Dali and Francis Bacon!

Fourteen directors have posed as models, or to be more precise: have run as models. They agreed with the photographer couple Koschies  on what to stage, how to move. Andreas Dresen plays a gestural “comédie humaine”, Dani Levy tries dry rowing, Hannes Stöhr juggles, Pola Schirin Beck plays ball together with Andreas Kannengießer. But it is not the fraction of individual phases of movement that is captured. In the long formats, the course of an action spreads out in often confusing forms. Time is not fragmented into individual images; time becomes visible in the picture as a progression of forms.

The decisive technical device is a special camera with a slit instead of a shutter. It records the movement of the protagonists in a long exposure of several seconds.

The photographer couple Koschies in front of the picture of Andreas Dresen
Photo MAZ / Bernd Gartenschläger

What emerges surpasses any painterly surrealism. Andreas Dresen’s movements merge into a holistically animated panorama of forms from which heads grow, sharp or blurred, depending on the direction from which the picture is taken. A head, a portrait is in focus at least once in each image to identify the person or persons depicted. The only picture of stillness, of the motionless body, is the one with Jürgen Böttcher alias Strawalde. Tranquillity is signalled by the body, which is drawn across the entire time frame and has mutated into a colour bar. Wondrous are the coloured traces of moving objects, such as balls, in their deformation. Arms can stretch out almost endlessly or acquire hands at both ends. Shadows lead virtually crazy lives of their own. All this opens up a new “Wondrous Story” for Chamisso’s “Peter Schlemihl”.

The suggestion to bring directors into the picture in an unusual way was brought to the photographer couple Koschies, both experienced and successful in the field of theatre photography and illustration, by the project office “2011 Potsdam – City of Film”. They have been working with the time-slit camera since 1990.

The current series “Directors in the Space of Time” – called “Running Direction” in the exhibition – was created in colour for the first time. It is undoubtedly one of the most original and artistically surprising contributions to the thematic year “City of Film”.

Dr. Arno Neumann