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Stefanie Schneider
Untitled - Contemporary, 21st Century, Polaroid, analog, hand-print, mounted

1999

$2,217.80

About

Untitled (29 Palms, CA) - 1999, Edition 4/10, 66x60cm with white 'Polaroid Frame' image size 56x55cm, Analog C-Print, hand-printed by the artist, on Crystal Fuji Archive Paper. Based on a Polaroid. Artist inventory Number 282.04. Not mounted 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 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.'' 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 UK, May 3, 2017) Schneider’s work is unique and thus immediately recognizable. Unmistakably ‘wabi-sabi’ in appearance and content. Dream like, colorful with depth and vision. From start to finish, a truly self made artist with a distinctively female perspective. In fact, the first to use expired instant film in fine art photography. Schneider's Polaroid film was bought, stored and used only for when it's best performance is expected. The sets, costumes and concepts are all constructed and friends are invited to 'play' in the dreams she wants to conjure. A large format negative is made of the choice shots to enlarge the image to it's optimum size and finally hand print an analog edition in Schneider's self built darkroom/dreamlab. Ready for mounting and hanging. "My dream of accepting so called 'imperfection' is in fact a realizing of a different world view. Formally, my work was called blurry or broken but they fail in the test of acceptance that all things are imperfect. It's a seismic shift for some but in this age where the cracks are no longer hidden, the affirmation of reality is still difficult. The celebration of imperfection reconnects us to the real world where we normally mask our flaws. I chose Polaroid film because it portrays color like candy making even the broken an expression of endearment. The combination of the color and the blemishes of expired Polaroid analog film gave me a sense of inner peace with my surroundings. It just fit. Nothing had portrayed my vision so symbolically. "The film schools I went to scoffed at my discovery blinded by the very imperfections that expressed my passion and love. The quirks, oddities or the perfectly imperfect uniqueness of my work relate to our own life blemishes and somehow make them ok or even remarkable. Honoring that value of imperfection makes it permissible to be. At least for me... I plan engagements in spontaneity for any new project or photoshoot. Allowing space and time for the magic moment to manifest and capturing that enchantment. I use my senses and current affairs to plot that path of serendipity especially when it's a mark of turbulence. The upheaval of balance is the key for chance and allows all unknown forces to contribute to the moment. I look inside myself, ground that emotion and imagine it in a dream because dreams are the foundation of emotion and the link to our sub-conscience. I try to clarify my nightly dreams subjectively with a cup of nostalgia in a bowl of emotions and sprinkle it generously with sex. It is there, the fountain of our instincts." Stefanie Schneider

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