Michael Schäfer: 'Champ'
for further pictures, please, click on image above
Opening: in AMERIKA on Saturday, September 1st, 2007 at 6 p.m.
Michael Schäfer will present in the exhibition 'Champ' his new work 'Les Acteurs' from 09/01 - 10/06/2007.
In his large-scale photographic work of the past years Michael Schäfer has focused explicitly on the mechanisms of the ubiquitous media apparatus. He has taken up found media footage extracting single subjects by means of reconstruction or modified staging and set it into an artistic context.
For 'Champ' Michael Schäfer has developed a series of - at first sight - classical 'portraits'.
For the shooting selected students of an elite boarding school put themselves into the situation of a manager at work who is supposed to be depicted in a preferably representative posture as if for an interview or the annual business report. It is however left to the 'actors' in how far they pose in an individual way or revert to poses ingrained in the collective social memory.
He follows consequently the digital techniques introduced in former series and simultaneously extends his approach by having the phenomenon of collective memory encounter personal interpretation of traditional role models. Although highly constructed, the pictures live from their ambivalence between artificiality and sensible authenticity of the single characters.
The subtle haziness of the image statement leaves the genre of the photographic portraits far behind and focuses on questions of identity of socially ascribed roles and their completion.
For the exhibition Michael Schäfer will also include the floor in his photography installation and hence extend the context of his work to the gallery space.