ANDRZEJ STEINBACH
12 June – 27 September 2015

SITUATION #16: Andrzej Steinbach, hier, 2013

12 June – 27 September 2015

From hier (here), 2013, Collection Fotomuseum Winterthur, gift Johanna Reinhart

Only at a second glance does the visual essay hier (here) give any indication that these portraits by Andrzej Steinbach could be staged. The images portray politicized young adults in the interior setting of their homes. The neutral expressions on the faces that stare into the camera seem like blank surfaces imposed in the image and invite (mis-)interpretation. They also give away little information about the individuals, such as the uniformed woman wearing black clothing and a face-mask, who seems interested in avoiding being identified by political groups or the police. Steinbach maintains a distanced and ambivalent stance towards documentary narrative, as revealed in his comments on political activism with a view to the power of the photograph: “Freely deciding to cover one’s face becomes a tool, or perhaps even a kind of weapon, an attempt to counter a world dictated by visual rhetoric and a politics of signs.”

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