Jessica Mueller


Catalog "Silent Presence / Still Life in Contemporary Photography"

Kunsthalle Baden-Baden I Bielefelder Kunstverein 1999


On closer inspection, a first impression must often be revised. For Thomas Anschütz, this attitude is the starting point of his photographic work. Because visual perception and cognitive cognition are often in contradiction to each other, it is possible to immerse oneself in the light and shadow

structured black-and-white photographs by Thomas Anschütz are difficult to spot the close-up view of a rigatoni or sour cucumber. For the picture finding, the real meaning of the object is unimportant, which the photographer may have found on a weekly market or his plate.


Anschütz is interested in optical irritations achieved with the means of a pure unmanipulated photograph. The Bauhaus photographer Walter Peterhans is mentally inspired by this, who admonished "to handle the technology flexibly like a net that brings out a find uninjured" in order to make the material effect of the objects speak. Anschütz, however, penetrates deeper into matter, dissects it and achieves alienation effects by means of close-up. He does not choose extreme close-up, like New Objectivity photographers, in order to track down the "essence" of an object. Decisive is the riddle play of abstract forms and body surfaces, which crystallizes only with the development of the photo prints.


The actual process of figuration takes place in the darkroom, where Anschütz, supported by his experiences with painting, intervenes in the photochemical process. Before the eyes of the beholder, this seemingly alchemical process takes place again on a different level of meaning when he suddenly identifies sardine skin, chicken cartilage, and meat fibers on the surface of the picture, when he painstakingly examines painterly iridescent black and white nuances. The photograph has transformed the material. The impression of physicality and the organic remains. Hidden is the environment. No slaughterhouse, no plate, no fishing rod, no cooking pot verify the image.