"Angel with Crown of Thorns"
7 Jan 2011
During the last five years H.E.Dunckel worked intensively about digital photography and its innovative offers. After two successful exhibitions of this work in the "Km5 Lounge Gallery" and another on the TV tower in Schwerin (BUGA 2009), now some of these series are included into the official program of the Triennial of Photography in Hamburg, from the 1st to the 6th of April of 2011. The gallery owner Marco Ahlers opted for these works, "because today almost all kind of art points directly to references of history of art, but the work of Holger E. Dunckel, however, shows up clearly as a completely independent expression."
Question: Your images on this Triennial of Photography in Hamburg reflect some influences like Pop Art or Dada. What was your most important inspiration by other artists? How did they influence in your own expression?
HED: I've decided to become an artist in my youth, having seen works by Andy Warhol. But I was also impressed by the works of Joseph Beuys, especially by "Das Rudel". It is interesting to observe, that with only twelve or fifteen years I had an unerring taste. From Dada and Surrealism I took the maximum of automation, what means the reduction of rational influences in the creation of an art-work to a minimum. Already practised also by Warhol and Beuys. This leads to the naturalness, the authenticity in art. But I have also experimented with quotations on the work of almost the entire history of art, and even up to the "Angel with Crown of Thorns" by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in some free, completely contemporary versions.
Question: What appears first, your idea or the images from which to create your compositions? Does your work depend on the speed of improvisation?
HED: The German artist Willi Baumeister wrote a very important work about art: "The Unknown in Art." To find the unknown, one can not be guided by maps or browsers, because you'll only find it, where these tools can not exist. That is what distinguishes true art of mere decoration: the leap into the void. It is provocative for positive and negative influences in the reception of the art-works. I never know what I will do, or how it will happen - I follow a path without a predetermined goal.
Question: The photo-montage technique has been criticized since its starts by the purists of photography and now you appear in a photo-triennial that shows basically traditional techniques. What about your statement?
HED: However, from its inception photography has always been an experimentation field, contrary to the painting, with its very long history. The "photo-art" has always been different to the hobby- and the commercial photography. And in our days we can find these works at the highest price range, like the works of Man Ray, for example. My presence in this exhibition is an important step in the direction of contemporary photography, opening doors of perception. But I must confess, I also do "normal" pics of landscapes, scenes and exhibitions, and with very good results, but I don't give such importance to them.
Question: How do you make your montages? - Do you use some special techniques?
H.E.D.: It's always a lot of work. When I leave my studio, after taking hundreds of photos in three or four hours, I feel like a worker coming out of a stone quarry. In the eighties I started stopping to glue the pieces of the assembles, only taking photos of them - but the results where not very complacent. A conventional revealed pic is only a substitute for the collage. Now digital photography offers a large number of possibilities to manipulate, and the image itself can experience its very autonomy. Digital cameras are more sensitive to incorrect exposures of time, artificial saturations, and even to electromagnetic interferences. My influences in the computer are reduced to a minimum. I am the first artist who works with the camera-distortion, introducing this way something never seen before: I am really painting with the camera.
Question: Do you use these techniques to free yourself from the limitations offered by the "traditional" photography ?
HED: There have always been things more conventional and others more innovative. I am working on photography for nearly fifty years, and thanks to advances in technology, now I have been able to realize a series of images, that I saw in my dreams since I was young. It seems perfect. There aren't any restrictions nor liberations.
Question: What do you want to express through your work? What do you expect from your viewers or buyers?
HED: I never expected anything special by nobody and I am never pointing on something specific in my work. I opened the CCSJ activities with a quote from Picasso: Art begins beyond personal taste. I am moving with the flow of the international context and I'm working on an advanced theory of art. It is the idea of "ELASTICISMO" - where the real constitution of society becomes only effective in a flexible network of aesthetic situations. My message is: experience - expand your cognitive horizons.