Photography without a camera
by Euan Kerr
Minnesota Public Radio
February 24, 2010
Minneapolis — "Marco Breuer is a photographer who usually doesn't use a camera. A show of his pictures opened this weekend at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. They appear to be abstracts, but there can be a lot going on in the images which you don't expect - and Breuer may not want you to know.
Let's deal with the camera thing first. Marco Breuer, who studied photography for 6 years at universities in Germany, says cameras get in the way, so he doesn't use them very often.
"I think that photographers tend to find the longest way to the image," he says. "And what I am after is the other end of the spectrum, the shortest way, the most direct, immediate interaction with photographic material."
In other words he works directly with photographic paper. It's a technique sometimes called a photogram.
"How a photogram is defined is you have a light sensitive material, and object that obstructs light that's placed on top of that surface, and an outside light source," Breuer says.
When developed the paper bears a ghostly image of the object.
"What I don't want the images to be is just kind of a checklist."
That's a photogram at its most basic, but Marco Breuer doesn't do basic. He almost attacks his paper, scratching it with abrasive materials, using different chemicals on it - sometimes even running a heat gun over its surface. It can produce hauntingly beautiful images.
Some of those images spread across the walls of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Breuer works with both black and white and color paper, so there are brilliant blue circles, angled blocks of black, and something that could be a meteor shower. Or maybe not. Marco Breuer isn't big on easy interpretation.
"What I don't want the images to be is just kind of a checklist, where you get a handful of information and then it all resolves neatly, and you can file it away and walk away from it," he says.
Breuer wants people to find their own meanings in his work"
Read full article & listen to streaming interview @ Minnesota Public Radio NewsQ
Marco Breuer with Chris McCaw
December 7, 2007
San Francisco Art Institute Lecture Hall 800 Chestnut Street (Chestnut at Jones)
"Marco Breuer uses an extensive and continually evolving range of processes to extract abstract and visually compelling images from photographic paper. Whether it involves placing burning coals on the photographic paper or repeatedly slicing into it or sanding away at the emulsion until holes appear, Breuer’s work eviscerates the usual expectations of the cameraless image. The end results are exquisitely gorgeous and minimalist…"
From an essay by Mark Alice Durant in
Marco Breuer:Early Recordings- Aperture, 2007
Read more @ PhotoAlliance
SMU Division of Art
Marco Breuer: November 6, 6:30 pm at the Meadows Museum
"Breuer, a German born artist who now lives in Upstate New York is a recent Guggenheim fellowship recipient. He teaches at Bard College and makes "photographic" images without using a camera. Exhibiting widely throughout the United States and Europe , Breuer is represented by Von Lintel Gallery in New York.
This lecture is in conjunction with Marco Breuer: Principles of Extraction, an exhibition at the Pollock Gallery October 27 through December 6, 2008."
View entry @ meadowseye.com | SMU Division of Art blog