Daniel Augschöll


Photographer and editor of Ahorn Magazine who likes to share things here.

My personal work can be found at danielaugschoell.com

Matt Mullican, from the series “Bringing the Light into a Windowless Room and Burning a Leaf“, 1972

FWFS is now available for purchase. More information on my website: www.danielaugschoell.com/fwfs

Thank you!

The best photographer of Wartenburgstraße. Michael Schmidt was born in Berlin in 1945 and has photographed the city for nearly twenty years. Schmidt’s work maintains a dialectic relation to thousand pictures populating Berlin, many of the most memorable are those by Schmidt. Schmidt continues to photograph Berlin and the viewer continues to see Berlin with his eyes. But now something happens: Photographer and viewer see Berlin as if it was for the first time.

   Schmidt is an artist of protean intellectual energies. Furthermore, he is an artist of the fragment, of complexity, of contradiction. His work is consistent and versatile. In Waffenruhe he is also passionate, which makes this collection of photographs his most intense and poignant to date. Not only does this mean that Schmidt is a better artist now, but also that he has become an entirely different artist. He has - except for the most rudimentary - cut all ties with the traditional documentary style and replaced it by an aesthetic of immediate experience. There is no confusion, no hide and seek in Waffenruhe. Schmidt’s work is full of self-confidence and authority now.

Questions of space and time. The protagonist of Waffenruhe is the Berlin Wall or more precisely the city limits and some of the things happening with them. A fifth of the photographs show the Wall; another fifth alludes to its presence; almost all imply its existence. The Wall is Berlin’s dark symbol of itself, the most representative landmark of the city, a kind of sinister Eiffel Tower. However, as the Eiffel Tower somehow “naturalizes” Paris (Barthes), the Wall reinforces Berlin’s artificiality and elusiveness. The Wall is Europe’s most atrocious landmark, yet it is also the one where use value and symbolic value are most closely linked. Michael Schmidt lives in Wartenburgstraße, near the Wall. Everyone lives more or less near the Wall in Berlin.

   The photographs in Waffenruhe have probably been taken over the course of a year, maybe even several years, but with the exception of just few pictures, they all convey the feeling of a certain specific season when a severe winter makes way for spring. This feeling stems from the iconography of the images, but it also is a quality of their color and temperature. Yet as these photographs are black and white and do not have a specific temperature, this is either a paradox or a misconception of the critic.

[…]

   A Norwegian photographer friend of mine said Waffenruhe was the most important photobook by a contemporary European photographer. This is impossible to prove or disprove, but it is an opinion worth taking seriously. Waffenruhe does not resemble anything that preceded it. The most striking quality of the book is its intensity. Schmidt’s images and their sequence have a rigor that makes them hard to look at and impossible to wipe off the table. In his earlier works Schmidt had documented the social artifacts of contemporary Berlin; with Waffenruhe he created an autonomous work, a new cultural artifact standing for itself, something whose existence changes the world it records. If the ask Waffenruhe the same question we asked Schmidt’s earlier works: “Does Berlin really look like that?” The most appropriate answer would be: “Yes, it does now.”

From: Lewis Baltz, Notes on Waffenruhe, 1988

Published in: Lewis Baltz Texts, Steidl 2012

The text originally appeared in Camera Austria, German trans. W. Prantner, No. 26 (1988)

The Nine - Trailer from John McNeil Studio on Vimeo.

The Nine, Katy Grannan’s first feature length film (release date, Spring 2015) is an intimate portrait of a peripheral and charismatic community in the Central Valley that struggles to find meaning and moments of grace in a hostile environment. Katy Grannan and Hannah Hughes spent three years on South Ninth Street (locally known as The Nine). The filmmakers’ lives intertwine with those of the original subjects of the film, resulting in a tender but conflicted look at the nature of the street and of the artist’s evolving and complex relationship to their subject.

Featuring Bill Callahan’s “Drover”

Mike Mandel, Seven Never Before Published Portraits of Edward Weston (from the Mike Mandel Memorial Collection), 1974

Bill Owens, from the series Suburbia, 1973
"My dad thinks it’s a good idea to take all the leaves off the tree and rake up the yard. I think he’s crazy."

Bill Owens, from the series Suburbia, 1973

"My dad thinks it’s a good idea to take all the leaves off the tree and rake up the yard. I think he’s crazy."

Gregory Halpern, from the series California

You can see a few more images here.

(via)

Ed Ruscha, Sherwin-Williams Turpentine, from Product Still Lifes, 1961/1999. Gelatin silver print, on matte photo paper, with full margins

Ed Ruscha, Sherwin-Williams Turpentine, from Product Still Lifes, 1961/1999. Gelatin silver print, on matte photo paper, with full margins

Sean Stewart, from the series Local Color

Sean Stewart, from the series Local Color

In the last months I’ve been working on a publication entitled “FWFS”, conceived to be part of a larger project called “Far Well Fany Stix”. More information soon!

In the last months I’ve been working on a publication entitled “FWFS”, conceived to be part of a larger project called “Far Well Fany Stix”. More information soon!

Larry Sultan, Untitled Home Movie Stills, 1984-1992

"We all have our ritual snapshots. These are very precious things that constitute a personal archive. Photography allows you to carry a trace of the past with you.

With movie stills, the event has been distilled into myth. I would imagine that’s why it looks like everybody else’s past. While my photographs are specific and I have that very personal relationship to them, the images also possess the quality of cultural myth: footage of a bear chasing somebody through Yosemite, jumping through a hula-hoop, holding a child at a waterfall, measuring each other next to a ‘55 Buick. We all performed rituals. These images constitute an icon of a family.

By taking stills, I’ve transformed the movies themselves. If it was just the movies, their general effect would be that kind of edited, distilled recreation of cultural history. By isolating stills, I can make my own incision. The off-moments, that look of worry on someone’s face, in the middle of all this…

The interesting thing is that my images, the stills, are both highly fabricated and mediated. But the fact that they have this filmic quality or this sense of family archive, makes them seem very personal and very real and, hopefully, they are able to do exactly what they did to you, which is to make you think about your own past.”

Larry Sultan: Excerpts from an interview with Catherine Liu for BOMB Magazine, Spring 1990

Darin Mickey