Frank Berger, Discovery Award, Rencontres d’Arles 2016
ARTIST PRESENTED BY FLORIAN EBNER
The huge light rooms of Leipzig-based artist Frank Berger can be understood as instruments that continually question the visual reality they are simultaneously representing. Through the sequences of his projections, the spectator submerges into the reality of urban spaces, while every slide adds to the preceding. His installation for Arles, Fleischwerk Weißenfels , consists of three series taken at intervals of ten years, showing the access road to a modern slaughterhouse. The insistent focus on the transport vehicles entering or leaving gives an idea of the industrial dimension of today’s treatment of animals. What can one single image say about a factory’s reality? Frank Berger’s work operates as a possible answer to Bertolt Brecht’s famous question—not one single, but a recurring image draws a more complete picture.
Much of my photographic work consists of serial slide projections. The photographic interest lies not in the decisive moment but in spacestimes manifested in the succession of images. The series focus on urban scenes and scenarios. I photograph people lingering for several hours from the same viewpoint. The images, a successive projection of analog slides, follow one another without dissolves.
The first piece was done at the entrance to a large industrial slaughterhouse over the course of a day in 1996. The comings and goings of vehicles indirectly attest to what is happening inside. In 2008, I photographed the slaughterhouse again from the same perspective and merged the shots with those of 1996 in a single installation.
I went back to the site and did a third series for the Rencontres d’Arles. The slaughterhouse’s continuously increasing activity is documented for the first time at night, this time with a highly sensitive digital camera. Spanning 20 years, the installation consists of three projections done with cameras that follow the technological developments over that period.
Exhibition venue: Grande Halle.