Catalogue Raisonné (Cliches)
19,5 x 27,0 cm, 274 pages
Texts by Nanne Buurman, Lorenz Just
German / English / French
The title of the project already refers to this impossibility. A catalog raisonné, as the work directory or the detailed description of the complete works of an artist, with the emphasis on the raison – the objective thoughtful – is impossible in itself as a term cliché and as a work directory is usually created at the end of the artistic creativity of an artist or more often, after his death. The Catalogue raisonné claims not only wholeness but also seclusion and objectivity.
Using Inga Kerber’s image archive as the source of practice the catalogue is organized according to classic clichéd categories: landscape, still life, portrait, nude.
The word “cliche” is of French origin and other than it’s German equivalent, it can refer to more than a printing plate or a preconception, for instance also to a photo negative, a print and the act of taking a picture.
The concept for this catalog corresponds to the principle of the work itself: the reproduction of reproductions in form of 3er, 4er or 5er triptychs.
The process of scanning as a reproduction step remains visible, and in turn, produces color shifts or other ‘bad’ characteristics. The process is image-immanent, visible and gains as much importance as the ‘cliches’ itself. Shifts of colour or small flaws that appear in the process of reproduction are not retouched, but rather acknowledged as a quality in themselves.
A tension arises between the image bearing an illusion of space and the image as a reproduction item. Reinforced by the repetition of the prints in the sequence the simple and easy visually detectable image becomes a complex multi-layered experience.
The catalogue follows the typology of a classic French style ‘Catalogue Raisonné’ – a descriptive comprehensive annotated listing of all the known artworks by an artist, standardized and designed the in such a way that they may be reliably identified by third parties. Itself a cliché it refers to the impossible: the objective thoughtful manner.
Interested in the production of images adhering to the process of reproduction as a creative practice, the catalogue draws a contrast to the superficial connotation of repetition as a form of ideological emptiness and boredom.
Catalogue Raisonné (Clichés) is a book that sees reproducibility as an essential mode of images: their circulation leaves traces, in our memories as well as in the image themselves.
f/stop, June 7-15, 2014, Leipzig
Source Photographic Review, Winter 2014/2015