For the first time, the Gallery OstLicht dedicated a show to Ulrich Seidl’s photographic works. The exhibition included selected stills taken from the late 1990s until 2014: »Models«, 1998, »Hundstage« (Dog Days), 2001, »Brüder, lasst uns lustig sein« (Brothers, Let Us Be Merry), 2006, »Import Export«, 2007, the Paradies Trilogy: »Liebe«, »Glaube«, »Hoffnung« (Paradise: Love, Faith, Hope), 2012 and »Im Keller« (In the Basement), 2014.
Ulrich Seidl’s unerring eye and his instinct for composition are undisputed. His tableaus, generated with almost photographic meticulousness, provide far more than fleeting insights into the often oppressive subjects of his oeuvre as a filmmaker: composed with the greatest accuracy down to the most minute detail, their clear aesthetics and severe geometry render them convincing.
In Seidl’s photographs, objects and individuals become compositional elements in space. A precise visual order takes over here. In his stills, the documentary element inherent in his films recedes almost entirely into the background. They are defined by the character of the specific staging and the static picture’s inherent tension between aesthetics and existence. By singling out specific film frames and thereby withdrawing any action from the film, alienation – a hallmark of his symmetrical picture settings – becomes more pronounced than ever. Thus, Seidl’s uncompromising compositions work even when completely isolated from his films, and, transferred to the medium of photography, they exert profound fascination as independent works.
IMPRESSIONS FROM THE OPENING