Zwischenzeit camera obscura in Dialog, Siegen 1993

Zwischenzeit camera obscura in Dialog

Zwischenzeit – Camera obscura im Dialog
October 17 – November 17, 1993
Studio Saarländisches Kuenstlerhaus, Saarbruecken, Germany
June 7 – July 4, 1993
Historisches Museum Ravensburger Spinnerei, Bielefeld, Germany
April 26 – May 23, 1993
Bunker Hoehstraße, Siegen, Germany

Zwischenzeit – Camera obscura im Dialog

Twenty photographers present their work with the camera obscura and seven authors comment on various aspects of this type of photography.

The desire to enter into dialogue was at the beginning of this project: dialogue between young photographers from different universities, across the boundaries of training locations and conditions. Contacts were established between groups at the Uni-GH Siegen, the FH Bielefeld and the HdBK Saarbrücken, with the aim of exhibiting together.

This goal has been achieved: from April 1993 on, the exhibition Zwischenzeit will travel through the three cities. In addition, the dialogue of images begun there is supplemented in the present catalog book by that of the texts and conducted on a scale that has been lacking for a long time. We owe this to the fact that the authors we invited not only collaborated with great commitment, but also waived their fees for the sake of the cause. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them in particular.

The title Zwischenzeit is an attempt to summarize the multitude of different working methods, concepts, strategies and goals of the Camera-obscura photographers gathered here under the broadest possible term. It can be read in three ways:

Zwischenzeit accentuates a specifically different way of dealing with the medium of photography: although the camera-obscura photographer on the one hand intervenes in the creative process to a far greater extent than the user of ready-made apparatuses, he does not experience himself exclusively as the direct maker of his own images. With the opening of the shutter, he lets himself in on a process, must allow the light the time to deliver its images to the recording material. It is a sucking in of the light, of the image into the pinhole camera space that demands time and amazes in its simplicity and precision. The photographer is given this time to experience and reflect on the situation.

In-between time circumscribes the difficulty of determining what one is actually capturing when one captures something. That photography provides faithful images of reality is a myth. Instead of chasing after the time document, camera-obscura photographers set out in search of the things behind the things, in-between worlds and in-between times.

Zwischenzeit joins the debate about the alleged end of photography, whose functions are being taken over bit by bit:
Computer, picture disk, electronic media, etc. ...When artists reflect on the simplest and most fundamental conditions of their medium, it is an attempt to reassure themselves of their own location.The fact that many are rediscovering the camera obscura is not the symptom of an end time - it is the expression of an extremely exciting transition - precisely of an in-between time.

Jochen Dietrich, Helmut M. Hochwald and Thomas KellnerSiegen and Bielefeld, February 1993