Thomas Kellner‘s photo montages of iconic buildings and structures from around the World such as The Lincoln Memorial, La Sagrada Familia and The Tower of London are extraordinary deconstructions. Through photography and using contact sheets Kellner creates a kaleidoscopic visual play that illustrates the architecture in a distorted manner which in turn tricks us into seeing the structures in a new way, through different eyes.
Kellners new vision has breathed life into what some may think of as architectural photography but in truth is more conceptual, more artistic, more thought provoking. Here is what he has to say about his work:
I think I am more of an artist than a photographer. At the moment I am working on architecture, but it is not classic architectural photography. There are definitions in art about ‘construction/deconstruction’ or ‘collage/decollage,’ but I don’t think any of it really fits what I am doing right now, maybe my work is closer to conceptual art or conceptual photography. Many have said it is ‘very Germany,’ and that might be closer.
Kellners process plays a critical part in his work and is as important as the final image. First he prints every consecutive image from each roll of film. His final images are the contact prints of the films he shoots – the more film, the larger the final image. Because the frames are shot in sequence he simply cuts the strips of film and mounts them together. The final step is a standard contact print.
Here’s a statement from his website that gives you a flavour of what he’s about, what he’s trying to capture:
I want to break manifold ways of perception to my audience. My main interests have always been in finding strong visual languages that are powerful enough to tell us something about their subjects that more “realistic” images cannot do. Right from the beginning of my studies, my basic interest was in experimental and conceptual photography. I created different pinhole series, photogram work and printings in alternative techniques, such as cyanotype, salt paper and others.
When Kodak Germany awarded me the Young Professionals Prize, I decided on a life in art and photography. In 1997, I finally started working on the contact sheet method to visually deconstruct architectural icons. My trademark style was born. Since then, I have been shooting prominent monuments all over the world. My images are asking to challenge usual perspectives – the buildings seem to be broken apart, dancing and remind us of the vulnerability of our values and creations.
Kellner currently has a show running to the 17th February, 2013 at the Kunstverein kunstvoll, Bad Nauheim, Germany
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