Kurt Buchwald

When we become aware of the works shown by the photo artist Kurt Buchwald, we always have to think about the other side of his work. Recently, it was the tenth anniversary of the beginning of his “Photography forbidden!” Campaign, which has now been carried out worldwide. On the one hand, by means of this pronounced ban on images at tourist picture sites and, on the other hand, by means of his work with panes and upstream diaphragms – in other words, the disruption of the motif – Kurt Buchwald asks very precisely the necessity of image production. And yet he cannot and does not want to escape schizophrenia, because he needs photographs to document his actions1 as well as as an elixir of life. In this respect, the artist tries to productively keep the contradiction between the male principle of listening to the inner images in suspension. So images always arise from a partial renunciation of images. In doing so, the photo campaigner Buchwald sometimes achieves positions that can be called classic. Yes, he succeeds in creating real time icons by means of staged lighting effects and presentations: “Im Angesicht” (1996/98). The photographer demonstratively reveals a dark side of ourselves to us contemporaries. The more recent work “Heil Deutschland. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. February 1998 ″ acts with the pathos of the photo billboard. Digital printing is deliberately used so that the brittleness of this urban space medium becomes clear. What the artist pretends to be a tableau of landscape photographs reveals itself on closer inspection as partly sarcastic, partly ironic symbol formation. Militant associations with the right-wing conflict potential in our country are evident.


Ein Tag in Ostberlin, 1987


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