Inspired by modernist art history in particular by attributes often associated with concrete and constructivist art such as measurement, repetition, chance, edge and surface, movement and play, Michael Wurstbauer works with the medium photography yet mostly without the use of cameras. His work is based on the interaction of light and light-sensitive paper; photographic paper-works, which can be described as luminograms*. Indeed, making luminograms allows him to focus and call attention to the delicate possibilities of the medium such as the multitude of gray-tones, smoothness of gradations, the fine structure of the silver grain, the pitch black and the gleaming white. The working process is an attempt to reach some kind of ‘ur’ state, in which his chosen medium is laid bare in order to attempt to make photographic pictures referring to photography itself.
For 'Where to put the sky', Michael is installing a large piece of unprocessed, yet partly pre-exposed black and white photographic paper, which will be allowed to react to light over the duration of the exhibition. One half of the image divided horizontally has been exposed to light in preparation. As unprocessed black and white photographic paper undergoes colour changes from cream white to light blue, from blue to purple to brown when exposed to light over a longer time, he expects that the viewer can see an image reminiscent of a seascape. The bottom half of the picture is a brownish purple colour, while the upper part of the picture will change colours as described above until finally becoming one with the lower part.
Born in Munich 1975, Michael studied Fine Art Photography at the Glasgow School of Art (BA 2003). After having lived in Glasgow for 16 years he is now based in Korsør, Denmark.
The exhibition is supported by the Danish Arts Council
* A luminogram is similar to a photogram in that it is a photographic image made without the use of a camera. Both types of images are created by exposure of photosensitive materials to light, yet a luminogram is made without the intervention of an object. A photogram is the earliest form of photographic prints whereby an object is placed on light sensitive paper; the areas exposed to light change the structure of the silver grain and would typically be processed in chemistry to show up as black areas.