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"Remigijus Treigys and Andrey Chezhin: 2 X Berlin"
2005-03-18 until 2005-05-14
Giedre Bartelt Galerie
Since the beginning of his career as a photographer, Remigijus Treigys (born 1961 in Lithuania) has been interested in urban and cultural landscapes. As he does not take pictures of people or other living creatures, Treigys can be called a specialisit in architectural photography. For this very reason, the Robert Bosch foundation awarded him a stipend to come and work in Berlin in spring 2004. It seems this choice was also due to the fact that Treigys‚ approach is quite unconventional generally: probably, there was curiosity about what he and his work would make of Berlin. He usually searches for a long time for his motifs, then takes very few pictures. The artist stayed in Berlin for three weeks and produced twenty one photographs. These are the photos displayed.
Treigys prefers wrapped or covered objects emerging from darkness. The Berlin series is characterised by strong fragmentation which estranges the architecture even more (and could serve as a quizz on the history of architecture). What do we see here? This game culminates in images of the restoration of the symbol of Berlin and its main tourist site - Brandenburg gate. This building wrapped in a huge cloth with its own image on the outside had become a photography in nature already which the artist photographed again. A photograph that is the photograph of a photograph, we could say using Gertrude Stein's words.
Andrey Chezhin (born 1960 in Russia) is one of the most experimentalist photographic artists of his country. He processes huge amounts of raw material: he travels and takes many pictures, collects old photographs and movies. Chezhin does not search long for his motifs and frequently uses tourist sites frequently. He is less interested in the objects and concentrates more on the results of his photographic experiments. He stayed for a few days in Berlin and visited Potsdamer Platz, Alexanderplatz, the Reichstag, Check Point Charlie and the Gedächtniskirche and took hundreds of pictures. Using these, he following two lines of work. On the one hand multiple fading with superimposition, and on the other, pictures he takes when turning the camera. The city is the common theme. The superimpositions are usually more closely related to nature and older urban structures. Surrealist in style, they could be dreams or memories. This view of the cultural landscape is shaped by Chezhin‚s home town Saint Petersburg. The language of the second group of works is constructive. These photographs looks like science-fiction-material because of the repetition and fragmentation of elements of modern architecture. Chezhin has applied this style mainly for his pictures from the USA. In Berlin it is, quite plausibly, Potsdamer Platz .
In their approach to photography these two artists are, despite the obvious differences, quite closely related. They present analog photography, for which a manual development of the film by the artist is essential because of the possibilities for mechanical and chemical manipulation it offers. Thus, their pictures are by and large unique originals which can hardly be reproduced.
There is a catalogue of Treigys‚ Berlin series available as well as an overview of earlier works of Chezhin which was published in 1998.