WERNER HUTHMACHER | Investigations

Opening: Friday, 6 July 2007, 7 p.m.
Exhibition: 7 July - 4 August 2007 

Investigations consists of approximately 70 works of photography by which the photographer confronts the world with its history. The point of departure of this series is the city of Blacksburg in Virginia (USA). From this point onwards, Hutmacher carries his work further. He presents places, protagonists, and events as the building blocks of his personal fiction. The individual photographs are positioned so that they may be rearranged by gallery viewers. Thus new relationships between the images will be constantly built by the public. Each visitor will react differently to the images, bring his or her experiences, feelings, and memories to the pictures and present his or her own associations. The actual places shown become places of the imagination. One realizes that, through all this shuffling around, that it really is not important, but that it is possible to read these images as narrative skeins. Werner Hutmacher has arranged the complete photo assembly that there are always breaks or lacunae in the running “flow” of images. As a result, on any given day, new quiet dramas or funny stories, or other, more believable plot lines could be created from these works. They populate this work so casually that it is as though the wind had blown them into the picture. Seen this way, they discretely unfold themselves to reveal an energy that carries over into the way the entire body of work makes it impression on the viewer. 

At the center of Hutmacher’s photography is the fragment that, with its multiple levels and many facets, presents a view of reality. These works deepen the topographical form and nature of the world. The artist finds his motifs in apparently empty places, abandoned urban areas, and often in spaces existing in tension between ”nature” and “civilization.” At the same time the traces that he alludes to in his photographs are indeed real and leave the marks of a registered and ongoing time and in the actual flow of experiences. This installation presents its cinematic character between order and structure and shows that it is about the exploration of the border between human cultural space and an undisturbed nature. Hutmacher’s photography installation demonstrates just how many real stories there are, how many different beginnings and endings are, and that this universal place really is described by his photographs. This place is indicated by constant, semantic mixing. The visible, no, rather, felt rearrangement of a photographic perspective to the point of ambivalence and relativism also explains the changed perceptions of the room. In the context of this work the fragmentation of perspective also makes more evident the increasing confusion of outside and inside and of interiors and landscapes. Thus Hutmacher presents hybrid images of spaces: neither inside nor outside, neither sublime nor pathetic, but, rather, succinct, banal, and even as idyllic as provocative. 

Opposite the installation are three large-format images that present a stabilizing element of silence and repose. They seem to give evidence of a grounding of men in the world and condense into a “Poetry of Space.” It is a photographic position that comes together in the creation of ambivalent image content and seems to sound out the oscillation between mere registry and narrative. Thereby, and not least, Hutmacher’s photography brings this demarcation of the border to the outside world back into the picture. He succeeds in depicting the various gradations of intimacy that these different concepts of space and nature make possible and represent through his visibly austere photography.

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