Thomas Freiler − Frühe fotografische Untersuchungen
Exhibition at FOTOHOF archive: 21 June 2018 − 19 January 2019
Sparkassenstrasse 2, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Opening hours by arrangement
Thomas Freiler – Early photographic explorations
In the work of Thomas Freiler, the scientific exploratory approach blends with the artist’s aesthetic aspiration. His entire career as a fine art photographer revolves around sounding out the boundaries and conditions of depicting the world through photography. It is an endeavour that has prompted him not just to scrutinise the conditions of photographic materials and apparatus, but also more recently to build such apparatus himself. With Thomas Freiler, as with many other artists, the key to a better understanding of his oeuvre as a whole is to be found in both his first works and his latest. The current exhibition explores precisely that aspect in the work of Thomas Freiler.
In an interview with Andreas Spiegl (Eikon, Issue 12/13, Vienna 1995), Thomas Freiler himself once defined his work by stating that ‘my introduction to photography was to depict reality as some sort of construct. In other words, reality as a sort of narrated story, and photography as the medium now narrating that story’. On show at the FOTOHOF archiv exhibition is his first work, a cardboard cutout of a figure with a photograph he took while still undergoing his training. This work explores the optical distortion that results from the photographer’s own perspective.
Other works from 1989 address the illusion of three-dimensionality produced by shadows in photography and the production of a colour image, which after all is based solely on the combination of the three primary colours ‘red, green and blue’. All these explorations are depicted with the simplest of geometric shapes and using only these three primary colours. But on the gallery wall these ‘photographic explorations’ also produce an artistic-aesthetic shape which we as observers might ascribe to the realm of ‘concrete photography’. Thomas Freiler himself deliberately describes his work in neutral terms: ‘What occurs in my laboratory is the methodological scepticism of what we rely on when it comes to photography, i.e. the fact that it works. What ultimately goes on show on the wall of the exhibition space are the developed and fixed results of those controlling experiments.’
The work entitled Donau from 1988 occupies a special position. Here he appears to be presenting a narrative work (namely the course of the river Danube) in the form of individual photographs and as a leporello fan-fold booklet. But on examination the collages of the river views soon turn out to be a work that questions the image impact of all sorts of materials that are not at all part of the reality of the Danube and were not even taken at the specified locations. At the FOTOHOF archiv this particular work takes on an interesting connotation, given that the Archive also comprises photographs of the Danube taken by Inge Morath in an artistic reportage style.
Frühe fotografische Untersuchungen
Thomas Freiler in conversation with Kurt Kaindl
Tuesday, 16 October 2018, 7 pm
at FOTOHOF archiv
Sparkassenstraße 2, 5020 Salzburg
Press Images / High Res. Downloads:
Press photos may be reproduced free of charge in conjunction with an exhibition notification or review.
Thomas Freiler - 2.14.2, 1989. C-Print
Thomas Freiler - aus der Serie: "Donau". 1988/2017. 16-teilig, 50,4×50,4cm, Inkjet Prints
Thomas Freiler, David, 1985, C-print, 13x9 cm
Thomas Freiler - aus der Serie: "Donau". 1988/ 2017. 16-teilig, 50,4×50,4cm, Inkjet Prints