Göran Gnaudschun

1971 born in Potsdam
lives and works in Potsdam
1994-2003 photographic studies at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst (Academy if Visual Arts) Leipzig, master class of Prof. Timm Rautert (2001-2003)

2005 cofunder of the gallery "Amerika" in Berlin

On Göran Gnaudschun's project "Reif" ("Ripe"): "Göran Gnaudschun has [...] not alienated the faces by demonstrating a concept, and not by individualizing the power of detail, the power of the pore or the power of the freckle. He also has not monumentalized these aspects, as Thomas Ruff does in his series of close-ups of heads that, with their appropriated majestic poses, look successful to the viewer. There is nothing of that here. Gnaudschun’s photos live from these omissions and missing bits, from a phantom pain, an availability of possibilities. These portraits fascinate me because they completely knock me off balance. Because they never really let me know much about the level of encounter between motif and image I am facing.

Gnaudschun is right in the middle of one of the most unsolvable problems of portrait photography. The French sociologist Roland Barthes describes it in this way, “In front of the camera, I am who I believe I am, who I want to be and he who utilizes himself in order to display his ability.” Gnaudschun’s ability comes from his ability, in this sense, to actually not want to demonstrate it and as we have seen, to not want to exploit the motif. It is as if he has suppressed the last two points Barthes makes, and as if the portraits in their reserve and urgency should say: I am not my image and my image is not me. Or even: I am not my face and my face is not me. Or even harder: I am not my image even if my self is an image.

The emotional quality of these photographs comes from these silent statements, the declaration of the self as image. They lead me directly back to myself as the viewer, because they include me in the experience of constant conveyor of our ideas of reality. And if that works, it is due to art, as silently as she may sometimes tread.”

Michael Freitag on www.gnaudschun.de

Goethe-Institut Singapur

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