• Herrscherbilder

    2011 was the year of the revolution in the Arab world. Spring has arrived and illegitimate ruler had to step down their thrones, succeeded by the people. Now rulers tremble all over the world. The strength of the movement and the actual fact for caducity of power inspired us to develop a work about the representativeness, self-staging and the balance of power. Photography is the figurative part of history, a collective memory of images, which outlives generations and also the mapped protagonists. The manipulation of the material is almost as old as photography itself. The best-known example might be Stalin, who retouched Leo Trotzky and others from already published images who he didn’t reckon among his friends anymore. The disappearance of the political image area of disgraced persons is understood in the documentation of the images. In one part of the series we are working with the same “weapon”, the same instrument and remove the protagonist representing the centre of power. Referring to the photographic collages of the conceptual artist John Baldessari and his deconstruction of the postmodernism, the pivotal individual vanishes out of the found footage. The selection is an excerpt of the demonstration of power and the notorious self-staging of the powerful position, their propaganda and of the media, which picks up and publicises. The images operate as an ikon or merely incidental. The ruler as the protagonist of the image is erased and the coulisse is eventually becoming the centre point. The original reason is gone and the after-image is the motive. The arisen vacuum is filled with the collective memory, a historical awareness and typifies the finite nature of power. In an antiseptic presentation the images of the children act lost and small in proportion to the large white passe-partout. Surrounded with white, which represents the ampleness of evocative associations with the latter story of the children. An indissoluble conflict is evoked in the beholder: innocence of children and love vs. brutality and terror of these human beings. They are some of the few non-staged pictures taken of the rulers. Therefore they are particularly of interest and let the beholder gain more insight into their being then any future images of them. The third part of the work is a virtual portrait of the despots, a digital collage. The image consists of pieces of photo-optical images of dead and alive dictators, despots, and autocrats – subsumed under the term ruler. It is the accumulation of the previously erased parts of images. The seamless transition of the different parts evokes at a first glance the impression of an effigy of a human being. As the beholder comes closer to the large-sized image she or he will unmask the dissonance and the monstrous nature - a result of the aesthetic surgery. The different types of skin, the shades of colours, the large-pored structures, riddled with veins and the pale or partly clean-shaven parts reveal the artificial creation. Like Frankenstein the human construction material is processed. The moronic façade, which is emphasized, is understood in dependence on the Renaissance painting, because the image concentrates all characteristic traits of the rulers. An allegoric image characterized through fear, insanity, vulnerability, and human abyss reflecting the outrunning of the individual. 2010