Disclaimer: My posts are in a personal capacity reflecting my views alone,not those of organizations and individuals i'm associated with.
Lucerne ·http://instagram.com/rene_schlegel1 http://paper.li/Rene_Schlegel
I wrote this artistic statement for, at the time of this writing, a still upcoming exhibition. I'd appreciate any comments on it.
YOU, ME, THE EVERYDAY, 85MM AND AN EYE PATCH
Dr. Arthur put a square sticking plaster over my left eye when I was one and a half.
Not a glimmer of light penetrated its absolute darkness.
The idea of the inventive Ophthalmologist was that by covering my good, or rather my less bad eye, my worse one will learn to see.
Through glasses as thick as bottlebottoms.
On top of an extreme crosseyedness, rather flappy ears and my absurdly large head on a comparatively tiny but round body supported by the stickiest of legs added to my somewhat "outstanding" appearance as a little version of a Martian so that only a few noticed the missing antennas.
I wasn't bothered.
During the 3 years of me stumbling around like an absolute blonde and way curlier nano version of Moshe Dayan, I learned to identify all models and makes of cars by just looking at their taillights, or door handles or any other tiny detail. The amount of detail which I usually could hold in focus with my less than stunning optical performance.
Think looking through a key hole.
We didn't have a car and I exercised this skill loudly during each bus ride with my Mamma. From the stop we boarded to the stop we dismounted. I preferred the rush hour and found public transport to be an ideal platform since the audience was captive. Astonished passengers about the skills of the little invalid were plenty which motivated me to dissipate my special knowledge loudly and tirelessly.
Newspapers failed to report.
With 6 the plaster came off. The experiment bonged. I still have the left eye as my telescope and the right one as my microscope.
Serves me just as well.
But this special period and the huge differences between my two windows to the world taught me a thing or two: MOVE YOUR HEAD. MOVE YOUR BODY. GET CLOSER. Left and right, up and down, backwards at times. When I sit, stand, squat, kneel, walk and, I guess, even when I lie down.
With about 14 I went to work a full sweltering summer in a printing sweatshop and spilled all my meager first earnings on a Minolta with 2 Sigma lenses. It was on sale. From then on I swayed my head back and forth with an extended protruding zoom for greater effect. I found it interesting that fellow photographers tended to use the zooms most at the 2 ends. As a born contrarian, I decided to fiddle around more in the middle ground.
It's extreme not to be extreme.
So not really seeing, but rather very keen and joyfully obsessive observation is what defines my love for photography. I am able to forget everything at home when I shut the door. Even my keys. But never my camera. And the two of us see things that some bipeds won't register because they have, measured on full frame, a 35mm forward vision with their two eyes, a 50mm vision with just one while I kept my trained 85 mm "taillight" focus. So what you see looking at my snaps is what you could have seen too but perhaps sometimes didn't. And that’s why sometimes this everyday visions may surprise you a bit.
You didn't see it. But I did. For both of us.
And here my part stops and yours begins. Our partnership.
My aim is not to document.
My aim is to take that narrow focus and counterintuitively enlarge our joint field of vision. My aim is to take this sliver of time and counterintuitively expand it to any length of time of your choosing. My aim is to take the usual and make it, counterintuitively, unusual and worthy of your attention.
My aim is, in the best of all cases, that you see one of my pictures and you and me together through this single moment in a single place in our space and time make up a story that may as well be the truth.
Not perception. Our truth.
Art, any art, is at most half there when created and only really exists with what YOU make of it. Make me happy; blindfold a friend, lead her or him to one of my snaps. Tell him or her what you, we, see within and beyond that frame. And a completely new piece of reality is created, a reality for the two of you of which I know nothing about.
That fascinates me.
Started to publish photos: Mid 2011
All of the below photo-related only:
-Le Smac "Les Plages du Monde", ISBN 978-2-9535396-4-6. 3 out of 100 photos in this book
-Berck, France, July & August 2012. 4 out of 100 photos in this exhibition. Total photographers: 50
-Etables, France, July & August 2012. 4 out of 100 photos in this exhibition. Total photographers: 50
-@mymensa, student and teacher dining hall, kiev international school, kiev ukraine (10 photos), since 2008
-ww.snack, student and parent snack bar at KIS, kiev, ukraine (6 photos), since 2009
-Getty Images, commercial license, 5 photos since 2012
I currently use: Canon S100, Fujifilm X-1S, Fuifilm X10, Fujifilm X100, Olypums TG-1, sometimes with Vari-ND and Circular PolFilters