Fotograf Magazine

Bastian Schwind

After You Broke the Window

The young Austrian artist presents a selection of his work created in the past five years, and the main topics of his first solo exhibition in the Czech Republic is the semiotics of the photographic record in relation to the modernist architecture and landscape.

In the arranged display, the author emphasizes the mass, structure and materiality, showing photography not only as a simple tool to document reality, but rather as a construct that actively shapes our perception of reality with its flatness, narrowness, ambiguity, and ability to manipulate. The getippte_Fotografie II series is reduced to words written on a typewriter and describing the material, colour, etc., so we can see a double image: one made up of the very characters and lines, the other created in the viewer’s mind after reading the words as a mental image. In the Structures (I-III) & Architectural Typography series, Schwind uses the reproduction of a concrete surface to fill in shapes that paraphrase the topology of architectural elements juxtaposed one after another to create abstract constructions. The author uses strictly analogue procedures in all his projects and works even on the more demanding image post-production under the enlarger in the darkroom. Schwind’s work refers to the American conceptualism of the 1960s both with its methods and visuality; moreover, the author himself mentions Robert Rauschenberg as a major source of his inspiration. The artist, however, reflects a theme that is perhaps even more topical today than ever before: the photographic image in the times of the loss of objectivity and its transition into the realm of uncertainty and irrationality.

Nikola Ivanov