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'Long Way Home II' (Stranger than Paradise) - Limited Edition of 10 Photograph

Stefanie Schneider

United States Minor Outlying Islands

Photography

Size: 7.9 W x 7.9 H x 0.1 D in

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About The Artwork

'Long Way Home II' (Stranger than Paradise) 1999, 20x20cm, Edition of 5/10, Digital C-Print based on a Polaroid, Artist Inventory No. 252.42. Signature label and Certificate. Not mounted, Berlin based artist Stefanie Schneider enlarges expired Polaroid stock into C-prints. The glossy images almost completely dissolve into lurid color abstractions. The shiny pink of a sex kitten's glittery body suit becomes an electrified, free-floating color field. The vivid, flame-orange hair of a 70's sexploitation film star vibrates against the dusty gray of the sky above an LA desert. Skin tones and facial details in the figures are completely lost. They are refugees from Faster Pussycat Kill Kill, doomed to aimlessly wander in a burned out celluloid limbo. Schneider's process is one of reflexive inversion. She stages her scenes and shoots them with expired Polaroid film, producing a decayed positive. The decay keeps the image from being a true positive, creating a hybrid: a positive with negative traits: burned out light values, super saturated colors, lost information. The Polaroid is then re-photographed, producing a negative. This negative, one imagines, is more compelling than the finished work. It must be filled with a deep, rich darkness and luminous color. The negative enlarges and duplicates the original Polaroid as a C-print, preserving the decay as an archival photograph. Schneider's process creates a circuit between ideas of preservation and decay. Her work emerges from the loop unsettled. The final C-prints are windows into a fluctuating limbo. They depict actors and environments neither here nor there; neither completely fictional nor completely real, and the information needed to make a decision in this regard is lost; burned away. The viewer is left sifting through broken artifacts and assembling scraps of imagery. The strength of this work is the opportunity it provides the viewer. Although the decayed images are visually unsatisfying, they are cognitively spacious. The burned out highlights are also blank areas in which the observer can re-build lost narratives. Schneider eschews the authoritative power of the art object and instead prolongs the life of damaged, uncertain images. The figures themselves seem to cling to existence through pure, unabated, fashion-conscious ferocity. Instead of possessing a complex, human identity, they are reduced to flattened neon hyper-vixens baring their teeth and their substantial cleavage in the scathing sun of a SoCal desert. They brandish squirt guns as sexual weaponry and sneer behind gigantic insectoid sun glasses. The stupid brutality of these misguided archetypes of feminine power is eased by the delicacy of their disappearance. They are images of vaguely remembered freaked-out alter egos, the noble heroes of Gloria Steinem's too-much-pizza-and-beer nightmares. Often, our nightmares are the best remembered. Pleasant dreams mix too easily with sleep. Nightmares are dislocating. We toss and turn and separate our mind into a dreaming part and a part that is strangely aware. Questions generated by a partition of consciousness float through the dream experience itself. "Am I dreaming now?" We hear this even as we are in the midst of performing some alien task within the storyline of the dream, and somehow, we accept the schism. Schneider operates within this gap. Are these photographs of photographs real photographs? Is Schneider's final product simply an archive of the source Polaroid? Her costumed actors recreate scenes from D-grade 70's sexploitation films. Schneider wraps these unconvincing fictions in yet another layer of fiction, and we are unable to sustain whatever small suspension of disbelief we had engaged watching Faster Pussycat. This is Schneider's true subject. What happens when fictions evaporate? What traces are left after the disappearance of something whose ties to the real were tenuous to begin with? What do ghosts turn into when they die? Schneider recreates and decays fictions that perhaps weren't worth preserving in the first place, as a negative of a negative. article portlandart by Y Isaac Peterson Stefanie Schneider received her MFA in Communication Design at the Folkwang Schule Essen, Germany. Her work has been shown at the Museum for Photography, Braunschweig, Museum für Kommunikation, Berlin, the Institut für Neue Medien, Frankfurt, the Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden, Kunstverein Bielefeld, Museum für Moderne Kunst Passau, Les Rencontres d'Arles, Foto -Triennale Esslingen. A German view of the American West The works of Stefanie Schneider evoke Ed Ruscha's obsession with the American experience, the richness of Georgia O'Keefe's deserts and the loneliness of Edward Hopper's haunting paintings. So how exactly did this German photographer become one of the most important artists of the American narrative of the 20th and 21st century? Born in Germany in 1968, photographer Schneider divides her time between Berlin and Los Angeles and became naturalized American in 2012. Her process begins in the American West, in locations such as the planes and deserts of Southern California, where she photographs her subjects. In Berlin, Schneider develops and enlarges her works in her Polaroid laboratory. What is most striking about Schneider's images is the color of her Polaroid film. Her role in preserving the use of Polaroid is one aspect of her work that has gained great respect from her contemporaries and the critics, as her work came about during a time when the Polaroid, a symbol of American photography, was on the road to extinction. This theme of preservation and deterioration is a core part of Schneider's oeuvre. In an interview in October 2014 with Artnet, the artist explained how her own experiences of pain and loss inspire her. ''My work resembles my life: Love, lost and unrequited, leaves its mark in our lives as a senseless pain that has no place in the present.'' Schneider's subjects are often featured in apocalyptic settings: desert planes, trailer parks, oilfields, run-down motels and empty beaches, alone, or if not, not connected with one another. ''It is the tangible experience of ''absence'' that has inspired my work,'' explained Schneider. This sense of absence runs deep through Schneider's work, the fact she even uses expired film means she plays with serendipity, chance and decay. Long before Valencia, Mayfair and Amaro, or any other Instagram filters, Schneider was creating this otherworldliness the image sharing network tries to create but in analog. (Barnebys UK, May 3, 2017)

Details & Dimensions

Photography Print:Polaroid on Other

Artist Produced Limited Edition of:10

Size:7.9 W x 7.9 H x 0.1 D in

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Delivery Time:Typically 5-7 business days for domestic shipments, 10-14 business days for international shipments.

Stefanie Schneider
Stefanie Schneider

United States Minor Outlying Islands

Stefanie Schneider lives and works in the High Desert of California. Stefanie Schneider's scintillating situations take place in the American West. Situated on the verge of an elusive super-reality, her photographic sequences provide the ambience for loosely woven story lines and a cast of phantasmic characters. Schneider works with chemical mutations of expired Polaroid film stock. Chemical explosions of color spreading across the surfaces undermine the photograph's commitment to reality and induce her characters into trance-like dream-scapes. Like flickering sequences of old road movies Schneider's images seem to evaporate before conclusions can be made - their ephemeral reality manifesting in subtle gestures and mysterious motives. Schneider's images refuse to succumb to reality, they keep alive the confusions of dream, desire, fact, and fiction. She is currently working on the 29 PALMS, CA. 29 PALMS, CA is a feature film / art piece that explores and chronicles the dreams and fantasies of a group of individuals who live in a trailer community in the Californian desert. A defining feature of the film is the use of still images and the use of voice over. Characters talk to us / themselves / you about their ambitions, memories, hopes, fears and dreams. The film is to be shot using a mix of super 8 and 16mm film stock and Polaroid images. Certain computer-generated effects will also be used to enhance the films surreal mood and to animate its dark humor. Radha Mitchell, Marc Forster, Udo Kier, Max Sharam among others are participating in the project. Stefanie Schneider received her MFA in Communication Design at the Folkwang Schule Essen, Germany. Her work has been shown at the Museum for Photography, Braunschweig, Museum für Kommunikation, Berlin, the Institut für Neue Medien, Frankfurt, the Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden, Kunstverein Bielefeld, Museum für Moderne Kunst Passau, Les Rencontres d'Arles. www.twentyninepalms.ca and/ or www.instantdreams.net

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