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EXHIBITION REVIEW // JÖRG SASSE : COMMON PLACES

 
Documentation of exhibition ©Photo: David von Becker
 
 

Documentation of exhibition ©Photo: David von Becker


Callum Ross reviews Jörg Sasse’s exhibition at C/O Berlin.

“What I’m interested in is the moment in which you think you have realised something, yet it eludes you a moment later.” Jörg Sasse

Through unusual composition and perspective, Jörg Sasse undermines content, context and previous knowledge to present everyday objects as abstract and unrecognisable at first glance. Interior furnishings and architectural details seem unusual yet strangely familiar, challenging the viewer to decelerate observation and to contemplate the status of the image.

Documentation of exhibition ©Photo: David von Becker

The exhibition at C/O Berlin shows two major works by Jörg Sasse – 110 still life’s arranged in 10 hermetic blocks, situated around the gallery space, as well as Sasse’s more recent work, Speicher II (storehouse II) a three dimensional sculpture comprising of 512 digitally manipulated found images.

C/O Berlin is an international forum for visual dialogues firmly established in the cultural landscape of Berlin. As a cultural institution, C/O Berlin integrates photography, design and architecture to present a lively program of international stature and quality. In the month of October 2012, C/O Berlin exhibited the retrospective profile of Jörg Sasse’s work, ‘Common Places.’

Entering the exhibition space, what seems to be the remains of an old gymnasium, one is confronted with several blocks or square sets of images situated throughout the space. The blocks coalesce to form an immaculate reality, a hypnotically colourful setting in which form and colour have been meticulously reduced and reassembled into sets of images. Unspectacular and mundane at first glance, the precise nature of the work accentuates the abstraction of the overall block of images. A deeper observation reveals a perplexing tension based on the contradiction between commonplace experiences and profound awareness. Every detail has been positioned in such a way that they either serve to obscure something or emphasise it.

Documentation of exhibition ©Photo: David von Becker

At the rear of the ‘gymnasium’ a cumbersome three-dimensional sculpture acts as an archive of visually reworked images from the Ruhr region of Germany from 1950 to 2010. These images are an extension of Jörg Sasse’s new working method, brought about in the mid 1990’s. Instead of making photographs himself, Sasse set out to digitally manipulate existing material by amateur photographers. Found snapshots, destined as private mnemonic devices, are digitally reworked to form a new kind of visual expression. By reducing the data mass, Sasse digitally reconstructs the photographs by removing certain objects and altering colours and shapes to emphasize detail. Much like his own photographs, the images are characterised by formal perfection and compositional clarity.

Documentation of exhibition ©Photo: David von Becker

The 512 digitally manipulated images that constitute Speicher II (storeroom II) have been allocated into 56 different categories according to the relevance of their context. Visitors to the exhibition are invited to create their own exhibition of images after selecting a particular category of their choice. By being actively involved in the presentation of the photographs, the work encourages the visitors to become the protagonist of the work as well as making the process of curatorship transparent.

For more information about Jörg Sasse please visit his website.

Callum Ross is an emerging photographic artist in Berlin. Callum will be writing for LUCIDA throughout the year.

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