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Naomi Schenck, aus: Archiv Verworfener Möglichkeiten, Photography (2009)
Naomi Schenck
Archiv verworfener Möglichkeiten

December 10, 2010  - January 22, 2011
The „Petra Rietz Salon Galerie“ is showing montages by Naomi Schenck – diptychs and triptychs of photographs of interior spaces which were intended to be possible locations for German television films.

Naomi Schenck’s material is a treasure trove of professional photographs – under the title „archive of discarded possibilities“. She has been collecting her unused works as a production designer for film and TV productions. Included are thousands of photographs of suggested locations that were not chosen for further use. From this collection, she has selected – conducted by a formal compositional interest – pictures, detached them from their temporal, spatial and functional context and mounted them as vertical diptychs and triptychs. This way, for example, you can find the Namibian national library above the backroom of an electrical store in Hamburg or the kitchen of an Irish family above the deserted cellar-vaults of a swimming bath in East Berlin. The pictures are mounted without borders. This way a suite of rooms comes into being, penetrated by a magic slipstream such as rooms in a dream or on a story board.

The functional context of origin remains in the photographs as a kind of soundboard pulsating in the background. The industrial production conditions of the movie industry and its location scouting are dominated by time and budget constraints. As a result of decades of practice, the standardized production of photographs and also their technical aspects have become a blind routine– which lies as a discrete perception behind what the pictures are actually showing; interiors devoid of people, for the most part photographed from the same perspective (a little below eye level) and with the same lens (focal length 28 mm) without additional light sources.

The artistic process begins with the classification of the collection – converting archive to treasure. The artist takes the pictures away from the fleetingness of their utilitarian context and allows them to linger. She leaves whatever was found and documented totally untouched and she restricts artistic intervention to an almost non-intrusive rearrangement. This is how Naomi Schenck succeeds in letting the secrets and possibilities contained in the photographs pass unimpaired through the filter of artistic control – and to leave the discarded rooms - not just the pictorial documentation -for the observer’s exploration.

Naomi Schenck was born in 1970 in Santa Monica, California and studied painting and stage design at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. Since 1996 she has been working as a set designer for film and TV productions and has been writing theatre and radio plays. The archive of „discarded possibilities“is a conceptual art project; further projects are in planning. One of them is a film with the working title: „Life seen from the viewpoint of houses“