The black-and-white photographs by Astrid Klein often seem as if they were projected onto the surface out of the depths of space and time. They are not light in darkness, but darkness in darkness in light. From out of the blackness, graphite gray symbols emerge: for example, three figures, a pile of skulls, two daggers, cabinets, machines, or architecture. Fragments of images that are mounted within one another, layered on top of one another, and together sometimes even appear as if they were embossed.
The large-format photo works are reminiscent of photos of walls by Brassaï and Aaron Siskind, except these “frescoes in time” are not corroded into the lime, the plaster on the walls. They appear like traces of an electrical pen on a screen: dark grids, pervaded by a peculiar, directionless light. We do not look down at Astrid Klein’s pictures; rather, they come to meet us in life-size or even larger, as powerful signs. Astrid Klein employs photography in a pictorial way. The manipulated and assembled fragments of photos only distantly remind one of their origins in visible reality.
Despite all painterly-photographic intentions and considerations, the works bear titles such as Kreislauf (Circulation), Wertverschiebung (Value Shift), Eingeebnet, eingeordnet, begradigt (Leveled, Ordered, Straightened), Verführung-Sklaverei (Seduction-Slavery), Über die Zeit (About Time), Fremd (Strange), and Auswege (Exits), and reveal themselves as the results of interest in the present and history.
The exhibition was curated by Astrid Klein and Urs Stahel. A collaboration with the Saarland Museum, Saarbrücken, and the Kunsthalle Nürnberg.