Rudolf Schmitz: Martin Liebscher (english)

Not without envy do we occasionally note the work of land-surveyors, who peer through optical instruments, take bearings from measuring posts, give signals bridging huge distances, work away on invisible constructions. Martin Liebscher s panoramic photographs represent a comparable form of privileged access; even when the image that emerges is of a tramp running his stick along a fence, or emptying a spray-paint can in passing. The film in which every city-dweller finds him/herself must be presented as still or fast-motion, a fleeting image must be cut out of the „all over“ formed by architecture, man, traffic, signals. Movement and the passing of time; these are the destinations of the action photography that Martin Liebscher creates with his modified reflex camera: he winds the film by hand for 10 to 20 seconds, whilst with the camera he pans in movements parallel or contrary to the direction of the moving film This application of a controlled chance principle is already known from certain painting techniques, for example from drip-painting However, Martin Liebscher does place value on the recognizability of certain motifs: this process of recognition intensifies the alienation effects of the meter-long prints. The artist emphasizes that he sees his self-modified camera as an image generator. These are formerly unseen images, but also representations of encirclement and totality which seize the viewer. The process of movement which accompanies the act of creation is communicated as the Becoming of the Image. Whilst these photographs, which can be understood as endless circles, signal a certain form of overwhelming, they also function as an active claim, as the endowing and usurpation of form in the flux of events.

Rudolf Schmitz

In: The Lure of the Object
12. March – 3. April 1993
Goethe-Institut, London