NEW YORK, NY.-
What is this, photography, and how does it relate to reality? What possibilities does it create for grasping and understanding the world and where does it reach its limits as a technique and as a form of artistic expression, where does it affront us? Where does it manipulate and where does it penetrate, on the contrary, to the core of things?
These are the questions Timm Rautert asked himself in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They have the same urgency today as they did then. The result of his undertakings is the Bildanalytische Photographie / Image-Analytical Photography 1968 - 1974
, which highlights the fundamental conditions of photographic workfrom the photographic act and the development of photographic images under an enlarger in the lab to the various possibilities of presentation.
A systematically elaborated ensemble of analogue black-and-white and color photographs, of image-text compilations, and of manuals and photographic material provokes elementary questions about what photography means as a medium, what is expected from it, and how it has shaped the perception of the world.
Scenic black-and-white photographs, passport photos, lab experiments, combinations of selected photo prints with their negatives are found here among Rauterts 56 works, but also non-photographic material such as a grey card (used for measuring light mainly in photo studios), postcards and graphic manuals. Each work becomes an element of analysis showing the numerous potential scenarios of photography.
Timm Rautert was born in 1941 in Tuchola, West Prussia, and today lives and works in Berlin and Essen. Rautert studied under Otto Steinert at the Folkwang School of Design in Essen, and from 1993 to 2007 was a professor of photography at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig. His books with Steidl include When We Dont See You, You Dont See Us Either (2007), No Photographing (2011), Josef Sudek, Prague 1967 (2016) and Vintage (2017). In 2008 Rautert was the first photographer to be awarded the Lovis Corinth Award.