suckerPUNCH: describe your project.
daniel BARTHMANN: Since a few years my photographic work consists of the attempt devising an appropriation of defined places and spaces. This could be inside a building or outside. One series deals with the inner context of an apartment, an other with the course along an urban road or landscape. So the inital point for me is the self-imposed constraint upon a defined space that i choose to explore and turn into. It’s about an exploration of architectural settings and arranged things (intended or not) as corresponding components in a constant changing spatial context.
By rambling, going back and forth, circulating and passing through a particular place with the photo camera, something is taking up that one could declare as ‘survey of land’ or at least sorting of chaotic visual impressions.
The city district St.Pauli is displaying a convoluted architectural complexity. It is one of the most densely populated areas in Europe, but some blocks rather resembles a cosy village. The red light district (by the harbour) is the pulsating centre that dominates the public appearance of St.Pauli and lives on the maintained maritime atmosphere from older times. However for the photoseries i decided to exclude all that – people, stories, meaning, knowledge. Instead the focus lies on the ideocentrism of architectures and things. So if different architectural shapes are merged in pictures, they appear as elements devoid of background informations in a self-contained coherence. That enables a less mediated view on phenomenons as if a stranger is looking at an unknown place. He/she is wondering, maybe asking oneself: why does it look like this?
Currently St.Pauli is undergoing gentrification. Investors detected the promising housing situation in the city centre and are now displacing long grown structures. Changes are gaining speed. Certain things are not going to be there anymore. Therefore it is one other aspect for the series to transform the old disappearing structures in still perpetual image areas.
sP: what or who influenced this project?
dB: artbooks and exhibitions by Stephen Shore, Greg Girards ‘City of Darkness’, Edward Hopper, Giorgio Morandi,
‘High Lane’ by Joel Sternfeld, visiting Lisboa, walking.
sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
dB: watching: see above
listening: ambient sound (Tetsu Inoue …), Bibio etc.
reading: John Berger, Haruki Murakami
sP: whose work is currently on your radar?