Helena Schlichting

* 1976 in Frankfurt am Main, GER
lives in Frankfurt am Main

In an age of the mass availability of digital images, which can be generated for purposes of information or communication in a matter of seconds and with no previous technical knowhow, Helena Schlichting makes use of complex manual image production processes. She does not work with a camera, but with light and chemicals and reverts back to techniques that are as old as photography itself. In a time-consuming process the artist in part coats her unusual image media herself with photographic emulsion, exposes them, either in the moonlight or using the light from her cell phone display, and then develops them. This approach is, like the photographic experiments of the 1920s, informed by the peculiar, seemingly mysterious laws and possibilities of the medium at a distance from documentary realism. What results are not conventional photos, as they do not claim to show or explain anything. The pictures do not capture any clearly recognizable perspective or object, but instead diffuse traces that hold within them the specific place and a creative process that is not entirely controllable.

The curtains Schlichting frequently uses as media have an extraordinary haptic quality owing to their photographic treatment with metallic silver. Despite their two-dimensionality and transparency they protrude sculpturally into the space and create a highly atmospheric place that presents itself to the viewer virtually inexplicably as a projection surface.

Frankfurter Kunstverein

Vis vis: Vorhang #2, 2013