For the series World of Details Binschtok’s starting point was a selection of images opposing all notions of traditional picture-taking; products of automated panorama-shooting equipment set up on the roof of a van- more specifically, a Google van. By weeding through the vast Google Street View archive, Binschtok cunningly selected images in which by-passers are looking straight into the lens of the camera. The next stage was for the artist to visit each location presented in these ‘street views’ with the intent of producing her own visual representations of the same environments. The resulting c-prints are wonderfully detailed artefacts which capture perfectly the real soul and character behind each respective site.
Suddenly the small monochrome prints appear somewhat lacking and Binschtok’s hypotheses become clear. How does an image which features actual ‘characters’ convey so much less character than one without? How can an image completely absent of any human presence appear more ‘human’ than one with? The processes behind a captivating image- installing a sense of composition, making choices about content and context, going beyond the simply ‘informative’ etc- are powerful tools indeed. Whilst recognising that both forms of picture-taking are as authentic and as valid as one another, here- through the documentation of just seven sites- Viktoria Binschtok celebrates the significance of a photographer’s intent.
“World of Details (exit + snackbar)” (2011), Ink jet print on mdf-plate, 18 x 26 cm. Photograph courtesy of Klemm’s, Berlin
Blog entry by Samantha Manton in Berlin; Tuesday, October 11, 2011.