Galerie Ferdinanda Baumanna / PRAHA (Czech Republic)
16.06.2017 – 01.09.2017
In photography, any three-dimensional space is essentially fictional. At best, it’s a replica of an image of a space – a second-degree copy of a supposed reality. Working with analogue photography without the intermediate step of a camera, Janine Schranz and Mara Novak abandon the traditional photographer’s quest for a perfect replica to use space directly as their method and their medium.
Janine Schranz applies photo emulsion on photographic paper and uses different exposure times to create varying shades of grey. Her photograms are reminiscent of architecture photography, as she uses this essentially two-dimensional method to imitate perspective and create the corners and alcoves of imaginary space. Yet a single step to the left or to the right shatters the illusion, which, after all, is only in the eyes of the beholder.
Mara Novak builds three-dimensional models of existing rooms, with photo paper installed instead of one of the room’s walls, its photosensitive side turned inwards. Through the hole in the paper the light enters the ‘room’ and penetrates the photosensitive side of the paper, so that a refraction of light produces a dark aureole around the opening. The resulting prints are, essentially, a photograph of the space inside the room-sized camera obscura – a recording of both interior and exterior.
Both techniques allow little control – with abandon to the whims of their chosen materials, the artists re-discover the singular quality of analogue photographic process from the position of a digital native.