1986 bis 2000
In May 2001, the book dressur real with photographs from
the past 14 years has been published by J. Strauss in Potsdam.
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Preface of the book "dressur real"
by the editor Klaus Honnef
Translated from the German by
What a person sees is, to a great degree, the result of the
power of his imagination. Some time ago neurobiologists had
empirically proven how the brain, in the act of seeing, processes
the passively received sensory data through active conceptualization.
This fact has been known even longer by artists who understood
this phenomenon intuitively and dealt with it in a poetic
or sculptural-visual manner, until the emergence of photography
and its claim of direct perception seemed to illustrate the
opposite. The medium of photography, however, is the product
of human imagination in a twofold sense: as a reflection of
a specific technically and thus culturally determined mode
of perception and - like each of its images - as the source
of sensory data that, in turn, are calculated by the imaginative
powers of the brain.
Wolfgang Zurborn with his workgroup dressur real
puts this to the test and shows by photographic means that
photography - no less than painting or digitalized images
- represents, always and inevitably, a construction of the
visibly Real in a twofold meaning of the word, irrespective
of its indexical structure, i.e., the physical imprint of
traces of what had once been. The make-up of his pictures
is correspondingly complex, on the level of their appearance
as well as their formal abstraction. Simultaneously on these
levels, other levels of varying origin additionally cross-connect,
which are of different intensity, space and time, nature and
culture, human and material world, signifier and signified.
In part they network here, in part the different event levels
seem to come about on their own, thanks to perspective, cut
Subliminally and against the background of the so-called information
and scientific society, his photographic images continually
pose the question as to the extent and the intensity with
which the human imagination, e.g., the brains ability
to poetize, is colored by the influence of advertising. Thus
the photographer undermines the false naturalness that advertising
is all the more forcefully propagating the more natures
loss increases, and he does so by ironic breaks and a lighting
that gives all his pictures the gloss of artificiality. In
this sense they are multiply encoded and contradict any simplified
perceptual logic. They force the imaginative capacity of their
viewer to widen his/her horizon, upset the conventional course
of things via unconventional visual challenges, provoke a
crisis in orientation, thus developing their wit solely on
an aesthetic level. Thanks to an elaborated montage technique,
which is at once an aesthetic principle that unites the montage
within and without in a bewildering exchange and a paradoxical
relationship, the pictures on the level of experience turn
into riddles without resolution.
Wolfgang Zurborn has consciously staged his workgroup dressur
real - which is also a retrospective look at his photographic
artwork - as a book that recalls a film, one, however, that
possesses no obvious narrative structure, but many elements
of the filmic. An encounter of film and photography on a level
of the third kind.
Some photographs of the series "dressur real" are
represented by photonica.