Katharina John and Ulrich Tukur. Production Video Reenactment for »Talking Heads«

Documentary of artworks

Katharina John is known for her classic analog photography, but in the age of the digital revolution feels the desire to give a new dimension to a technique, which is soon 200 years old. Therefore, with her body of work, she wants to bring analog portrait photography to life through a digital extension.

The subjects of her portraits no longer remain in the static of their creation. In analog photography, objects and subjects are frozen in stasis, in the prison of the moment. But each medium already contains characteristics of the next medium. Just as the snippets of conversation of the potters on Syphnos are nanotechnologically captured in the ancient clay pots and could be made accessible again, so too are "frozen messages" captured in the portrayed faces that John makes accessible digitally. Her figures are therefore freed from their analog quarantine of chemical storage and released into the freedom of the animus using conversion to digital memory. Thanks to ZKM's video reenactment technology, we experience an encounter with a photograph that no longer depicts the world solely from the creator's perspective but rather allows the portrayed to develop a mimic and verbal life of their own. The portrayed rebel verbally against their creator because they no longer want to accept the suffered speechlessness of their portrait status. They suddenly begin to speak. They develop their own life from the charm of analog photography into the fourth dimension of time, on a bridge between analog and digital worlds.