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Stefanie Schneider
Contemporary, 21st Century, Polaroid, Figurative Photograph, Woman, Schneider,

2007

$362.73

About

Soraya, the foreign Princess (The Princess and her Lover), 2007, part of the 29 Palms, CA project, 20x24cm, Edition of 1/0 Digital C-Print based on a Polaroid, not mounted, Signature label and Certificate, artist Inventory Nr. 7009.09 Larger sized editions are available on request Stefanie Schneider built an analog sanctuary in East Berlin, Germany, called the dream lab and houses the means Schneider uses to enlarge and print her expired projects. Traditional photography starts long before the shutter clicks. It's a completely different thing. 33 stones, there used to be 34. They told me the value would have been higher if the crown was still intact. I told them it was one of the smaller stones, the one that was missing was the side emerald. It didn’t matter, it was damaged. People are buying something else, this isn’t going to be melted down and sold for parts. This is a piece of history and it is less than perfect. That is what the surveyor had told me. In fact, he didn’t even believe it was real. I had to wait a humiliating 5 hours in a cold foyer in downtown Manhattan before they came out and told me what I had already known – that this was authentic but flawed. The value was way less than I expected, only 100k. I think Jennifer Lopez’ engagement ring was far more expensive than this, my mother’s crown. At any rate, as I said before, this had lost it’s value as it was no longer as it was intended to be. Apart from the missing emerald it was also bent and damaged in places. Most likely this damage occurred since this magically tragic piece came into my possession. I remember the desperate moment that my mother ran into my room late that night, it was a night very similar to tonight, really it was, it was warm, so warm and dry I had kept the windows of my bedroom open so that I could sleep to the smell of the night blooming jasmine. I never fell asleep that night, instead I laid perfectly still, and perfectly terrified, as I sniffed the jasmine to the sounds of approaching gunfire and bombs. I didn’t want to move a muscle. I was four years old and I believed if I could ‘sit still’ as my grandmother had ceaselessly told me, I would be rewarded. I laid very still, this my only option as the rebel forces approached our palace. I had been listening to the arguments for weeks before this moment, between my older brother and my father. My brother said something had to be done. But my father was stubborn, he would not negotiate the demands of these rebels, he didn’t believe they had any real power. He would die thinking that. In many ways he was quite lucky, He died only 10 days ago, in his sleep, peacefully, unexpectedly. He had no idea this threat would become so real only days later. I suppose it all makes sense now, that the insurgents would seize this opportunity of a suddenly dead king and the rise of his young and weak son, to take over. So my mother’s crown gets stuffed into a toy elephant together with some photos. Her brother is overthrown, her mother killed and she is smuggled out with an Aunt. She grows up in America and lives like and average American girl. Her brother takes the thrown again but he never sends for her. After he looses the Thrown and goes into exile. He fights his way back as some lowly colonel. He finds himself living in an apartment – a room from one of our families palaces, now government buildings - he came to America when I was 18 and tried to marry me off to the son of the minister of agriculture (in a desert country with very little agriculture this is not an important decision but that is besides the point) My aunt tore into him in a way that I had never seen. She was furious...I would only understand now that this time he came and the last time were not out of love or concern for me but using me as some kind of political pawn to get himself back into favour. I was, in the end, a princess, a concept that is both completely alien yet totally familiar to me. A German view of the American West The works of Stefanie Schneider evoke Ed Ruscha's obsession with the American experience, the richness of Georgia O'Keefe's deserts and the loneliness of Edward Hopper's haunting paintings. So how exactly did this German photographer become one of the most important artists of the American narrative of the 20th and 21st century? Born in Germany in 1968, photographer Schneider divides her time between Berlin and Los Angeles. Her process begins in the American West, in locations such as the planes and deserts of Southern California, where she photographs her subjects. In Berlin, Schneider develops and enlarges her works by hand. What is initially most striking about Schneider's images is simply the color of her expired Polaroids but her role in preserving the use of Polaroid film is one aspect of her work that has gained great respect from her contemporaries and the critics, as her work came about during a time when the Polaroid, a symbol of American photography, was on the road to extinction. This theme of preservation and deterioration is a core part of Schneider's oeuvre. In an interview in October 2014 with Artnet, the artist explained how her own experiences of pain and loss inspire her. ''My work resembles my life: Love, lost and unrequited, leaves its mark in our lives as a senseless pain that has no place in the present.'' ''The ex-lover experiences the residues of love as an amputee experiences the sensation of a ghost limb.'' - Stefanie Schneider Schneider's subjects are often featured in apocalyptic settings: desert planes, trailer parks, oilfields, run-down motels and empty beaches, alone, or if not, not connected with one another. ''It is the tangible experience of ''absence'' that has inspired my work,'' explained Schneider. Barnebys, May 3rd, 2017

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