Time, space, light and structure are the cornerstones of perception theory. They also frame the parameters of cognition within which the epistemological discussion of photography developed. This process is not closed and allows for reflection on the autonomous rules and independent picture language that reflect a mature and increasingly digitized medium that is more occupied with discursive possibilities than reality. The basic photographic program overlaps a complex system made up of technical, scientific, linguistic and artistic aspects. Gudrun Kemsa 's intention is to make these connections with convincing aesthetic metaphors.
The title »Moving Images« infers a relationship to film. The publication on hand however, is not concerned with the video work of the artist, rather with the photographic series »Choreographies«, »Moving Pictures«, »Beach Party«, and »Night Views«. Film being a system representing a chronological series of states of being, clearly has an advantage over the still photograph when it comes to adequately illustrating movement. In actuality the photograph is capable, as in Edgerton 's shot through an apple, to make things visible that, due to their speed, would otherwise stay hidden from the human eye. The roots of photography lie in the static, central perspective of the Renaissance and in strict linear Euclidean geometry, whose logical systems however are based on axioms that cannot be proven. The belief that the retina of the eye is a fixed point, in which bundles of rays meet is from today 's scientific stand point, fragile and deceiving. Rotating ›movements of discovery‹, that flow from one another and roll across the picture surface, analogous to timed photographic series, reflecting the physiological character of perception, barely find voice in this system.
In actuality perception functions as a dynamic process, a progression of sensations, that is constantly being influenced by a permanent stream of underlying information. The stone steps in front of the pale sky, taken from an upward perspective form the screen, the stage set and the stage for the flow. A successive choreography made up of chance passersby form a ballet that plays itself out in an indeterminate location. The resulting scenic panorama of apparently simultaneous patterns of movement engender a variable optical structure that the artist then places next to each other in an artificial series of phases. They suggest a chronological, and respectively, a parallel series, that builds a construct in the sense of an autonomous picture statement. In reality there is no analogous picture. It is a game of misaligned pieces manipulated by the artist. Against the contradictory background of the pictorial discrepancies between the concrete and the image substitute, Gudrun Kemsa chooses the reality of the picture that is, in the end, subject to artistic control.
This publication and the accompanying exhibition document Gudrun Kemsa 's new picture series for the first time. The artist and the participating institutions thank all contributors to the realization of this project. Special thanks is due to Klaus Honnef and Christoph Schaden for their informative text, to Allison Faye for the translation and to the Kehrer Verlag team for their support, effort and care in publishing this book.
Lit: Gudrun Kemsa - Moving Images, Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg 2006