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aichinger05-19-08-1

In German there’s a one letter difference between ‘living room’ (‘Wohnzimmer’) and ‘mad room’ (‘Wahnzimmer’), as pointed out by the Goethe Institute. A single disputed vowel that might just be enough of a gap through which to capture light, like a pinhole camera. The photographs of Anna & Bernhard Blume are funny, laugh out loud so at times, until you consider why you’re laughing and who the joke is on. We diminish creative works by comparison but we have to; it’s the same impulse we have in language or mapmaking. We’re pareidolic mammals programmed to discern form from chaos. With photographs like these that evade understanding, we are forced to orientate ourselves elsewhere. Surrealism. Dada. Fluxus. Beckett. Bacon. Švankmajer. A surrealised version of Richard Billingham’s Ray’s A Laugh perhaps. Beyond grim humour and aesthetics, they seem closer to Malevich’s ikons. They are poetry where most other photographs are prose, existing…

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