Annette Kelm, Versuchsanstalt fur Wasserbau und Schiffbau, Berlin, 2018.
In her works, Annette Kelm explores the potential of analogue photography to expose the cultural foundations and visual paradoxes of objects through their reproduction. Often her pictures show representations of precise arrangements of things that resemble genres such as still life and studio photography. On the other hand, Kelm’s formal imagery imbues the objects with an almost hyperreal presence. Free from any form of narration, emphasis is placed on the compositional moment, which seems to give meaning to the motifs in their visual distinctiveness: everything is what it is, but also receives an abstract, perhaps merely assumed, relevance.
Annette Kelm’s photographs show simple but at the same time unruly subjects that appear to fit neither in the category of factual documentation nor as symbolic representation. They level things in the picture plane or multiply it in the principle of the series. Often depicted head-on and in great detail, the minimal yet visually quite opulent world of things powerfully emphasize the translation into the two-dimensional space of photography. The narrowing of perspective is both part of the photographic principle and an expression of a highly subjective view.
(Photo courtesy of Kunsthalle Wien.)