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Stefanie Schneider
Breathing III (Deconstructivism) - Contemporary, Expired Polaroid

2015

About the Item

Breathing III (Deconstructivism) - 2015 - about the narrative potential of images. 20x20cm, Edition of 10, Archival C-Print, based on a Polaroid, Artist Inventory 15808. Signature label and Certificate. Not mounted. Stefanie Schneider's scintillating situations take place in the American West. Situated on the verge of an elusive super-reality, her photographic sequences provide the ambience for loosely woven story lines and a cast of phantasmic characters. Schneider works with the chemical mutations of expired Polaroid film stock. Chemical explosions spreading across the surfaces undermine the photograph's commitment to reality and induce her characters into trance-like dream scapes. Like flickering sequences of old road movies Schneider's images seem to evaporate before conclusions can be made - their ephemeral reality manifesting in subtle gestures and mysterious motives. Schneider's images refuse to succumb to reality, they keep alive the confusions of dream, desire, fact, and fiction. Stefanie Schneider received her MFA in Communication Design at the Folkwang Schule Essen, Germany. Her work has been shown at the Museum for Photography, Braunschweig, Museum für Kommunikation, Berlin, the Institut für Neue Medien, Frankfurt, the Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden, Kunstverein Bielefeld, Museum für Moderne Kunst Passau, Les Rencontres d'Arles, Foto -Triennale Esslingen. Stefanie Schneider's new photographic works tell fantastic stories about her adopted Californian home. She seeks out faded American myths and distils auratically charged reality in a very personal and surprising way. She uses out-of-date Polaroid film, and the blemishes caused by the degenerated film stock, - are included in the composition in a painterly way. Exposure mistakes and low budget movie effects are combined to alienating effect. Everything shimmers and flickers before our eyes. The artist plays with the authentic poetry of the amateur, mixing strangely dreamy staging with random photochemical events. In the 16-part work Frozen, which is characterized by a strangely transcendent mood in the lighting, film-still-like pictorial clusters come together to form a mysterious story, with the artist herself as the lonely protagonist. the aesthetic is reminiscent of early Lynch films. The components of the elliptically choreographed events are scenes from an enchanted, gleaming winter landscape, together with "staged snapshots" of a pale young woman in her underskirts, who radiates the troubled reality of a mirage with her sleep walking presence. The story is presented in the manner of cinematic flashbacks or dream sequences. Stage blood and a knife are used to evoke a crime of passion whose surreal attractiveness is derived from the scenic openess of what is shown. The deliberate use of old instant picture stock establishes in a richly faceted way the ephemeral quality of vulnerability and transience within a reality that is brittle from the outset. The American Stars and Stripes, recently updated as the absolute epitome of a patriotic signifier, is the subject of the 9-part work Primary Colors (2001). Schneider's reassuringly European view, free of undue emotion, presents the Stars and Stripes motif in a strangley alienated form: she shows stills with phases of fluttering violently in the wind, even torn in some cases, and the poor film stock emphazises the fragility of the icon even more. FlashART - Sabine Dorothee Lehner (translated from German by Michael Robinson)
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