The projector has gone quiet, when one switches on the television, hardly an image still flickers over the screen, defective pixels are seldom. Sound designers are the composers of the perfect camera click. In our everyday lives, media have almost disappeared from sight: we read a story not letters; in a conversation, we don’t exchange sounds but thoughts and opinions; and in the cinema, we forget the screen. Media operate like a sheet of glass: their purpose is better served, the more transparent they are, the more discretely they remain beneath the threshold of attention. The perfect user interface creates a surface that we can control without having to understand it. The question remains, however, who controls whom, and who determines the way we see.
This exhibition brings together several photographic works and a light installation that examine, in different ways, the status of the photographic medium. Visual noise, scratches recall the medium itself. The transparent sheet of glass gives way to a material presence. It is precisely this interference, the damage on the surface on the “Looking Glass” that makes us attentive.
The series “Tabletop” by Moritz Hirsch is a medial tapestry, not entirely free of ironic allusion: a recording of the movements and turbulences on his desk under diverse influences and effects in the years from 2000 to 2008.
The multiple exposures of what at first glance look like romantic landscapes “Yellow”, “Blue” and “Red” superimpose one photographic instant over another, while the scene is illuminated further by light traces from the developing process as well as mechanical disturbances. The subject of Moritz Hirsch’s work is always the deconstructivist attention to the conditions of photography, while the subject matter seems to remain incidental. This is the case in “Mount Everest 1 and 2” and “Nordwand” (North Face), as well as “Spirit Level”. The latter, which is the result of long exposures and moving flashes, seems to be a visualisation of energy and movement in a space of dormant memory. The scene in a garage shows random accessories, a ball, a spirit level, a paint roller and an electric drill, as well as the suggested silhouette of a figure who has set off flashes in different points of the space. The photograph as transparent description of the world suddenly appears opaque without becoming abstract. It has lost its purely representational function without opening up a visible dimension to experience.
The mirror projection “B 255” shows two blue fields of equal size that touch in a narrow strip of yellow. The colour fields, which are projected onto the mirror from behind, are identical “B 255” colour projections that nevertheless seem to show slight irregularities. One has a more prominent raster, and, in each case, the one the viewer is standing in front of appears as the darker one. This divergence is due solely to technical differences in the otherwise identical projectors. The yellowish strip between the blue surfaces is the result of a complementary effect.
The photographic dimension of Moritz Hirsch’s project is exclusively determined by a reflection on the picture support and the production procedures that generate this. As theoretical object, it provokes questions and considerations about critical and historical discourses that take photography as a subject. In this exhibition the viewer is able to experience the sublime autonomy of his works.
Moritz Hirsch (b. 1978) lives and works in Berlin.