When I became interested in photography a few years ago, I thrived for the ‘perfect shot’. I was inevitably disappointed – the thrill of photography being the constant challenge of a capturing a photo as near to the real thing, or as good as a memory. From this point of recognising that ‘perfect’ is a poor and unrealistic objective, I began to aim for intimacy – the close-up of a friend without them noticing, the image of a landscape that represented the real thing even with its imperfections. Above all, photos have the ability to symbolise an idea or resonate meaning, and this has become my purpose for clicking away. Getting close to a scene through the lens, shutters and viewpoint of my beloved Nikon.
Ute Klein‘s work on intimacy and human contact have therefore set a golden standard for me – a podium first. Her work explores form more than photography – no fancy lighting, ‘artistically’ long shutter times or image decentring; instead she focuses on the spaces that bodies may occupy – a mass of contorting limbs and unconcealed privacy. As the Daily Serving concludes –
“The extreme corporal contact is both comforting and confining – the contorted poses of the performers intertwine two bodies to become one – calm and content from the interior and impenetrable from the outside.”
It therefore becomes difficult to distinguish one person from the other, or an embrace from a potential cat fight; and I like how this apparent discrepancy adds to the viewing experience. The photos create a narrative, and leave you wanting to know the reasons why. Why the characters are fully clothed? What emotions are they feeling as Klein cleverly hides their faces. And why does Klein bother – what are the photos’ context? Clueless, but armed enthuisastically with my camera, Klein’s “Resonanzgeflechte–leibhafter Raum” series leaves me intrigued.
What do you think?