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Reality Remix

Reality comes in many different flavours. And if you work as a photographer for the press, these flavours - or rather layers - sometimes become clearer. While the press is only one dimensional, usually limited to the horizon of their advertising clients and their target group, reality is fortunately much vaster. What you see and shoot as a photographer is one thing, what gets printed is a different matter altogether. In this series I try to bridge these two polarities I live in, and at the same time escape from them with my brushes soaked in photographic chemicals.

After delving into traditional black & white photography for 20 years, I explore in this series the end of black & white. What will happen if you use black & white negatives to create color? This series taught me that the base material you utilize to create a picture is somewhat arbitrary. This series from 1992 was my last pre-photoshop work as well.

At that time I worked for several German magazines and I used the negatives of my journalistic work to create something new. In fact I used solely black & white negatives for these colorful prints. I xeroxed my own photographs from the magazines on translucent

Exhibition in the traditional boxing club "Aurora", Cologne, Germany. Part of "Internationale Photoszene 1992"

"To me DJ-ing is an emancipated form of music, that comes from a tradition of its own. I have always tried to transcend this thing above just dancefloor. After all you can take this method of composing and producing to work also in non-dance projects."

Westbam

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13 pictures in this gallery

Exhibition in the traditional boxing club "Aurora", Cologne, Germany. Part of "Internationale Photoszene 1992"

paper and used them as negatives. I utilized well known images of advertising, Germany's most wanted terrorists, and crossword puzzles to create different layers of picture and reality. In my darkroom I puzzled the raw materials together.

All pictures were exposed several times with different negatives and in different colors. Then I used a mix of various chemicals to develop and manipulate the prints. During processing I worked on them with a lighter or an electric torch. Printing was done on 50 x 60cm Fujicolor. The prints were then photographed on 4"x 5" negatives and printed in the final size of 120cm x 180cm.

Vernissage Performance

Befitting the theme of struggle and contrast that is expressed in the exhibited photographs, a boxing match was performed at the opening. In the prize ring of the more than 50-year-old boxing club "Aurora" were myself, as a photographer, and Cologne based painter Rainer Aring as a "real artist". One of the favourite discussion topics at that time in the German "art-scene" was whether photography is an art form or not.

Left to right: Paul Kalkbrenner, Rainer Aring, Michael Steinrücke

Left to right: Paul Kalkbrenner, Rainer Aring, Michael Steinrücke

Boxing club "Aurora" is situated right between "Photokina" fair and Hyatt hotel, inside the pillar of the bridge crossing the river rhine.
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Boxing club "Aurora" is situated right between the "Photokina" fair and Hyatt hotel, inside the pillar of the bridge crossing the river Rhine.
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