Josef Schulz _______________________________

5.05.2009 | |

In present-day Europe internal borders are losing their political and economic dividing function. Since boom gates disappear more quickly than psychological barriers, the old borders remain in people's consciousness. The long-term consequences of this geographic expansion of Europe into an externally functional unity, albeit culturally and ideologically in conflict, are still unforeseeable.

Joseph Schulz has found convincing images for this complex historic change. In his series ├╝bergang [transition], begun in 2005, he focuses on the architecture of abandoned control posts of inner-European borders. Robbed of their function, the checkpoints appear like modern ruins; Schulz consciously shows no cars or people. The anonymous functional architecture presents itself surprisingly varied in this extensive series.

The border posts stand out in sharp contrast in their misty surroundings, and this conjures up their imminent disappearance even more clearly. This fading effect is the result of digital editing which makes the background recede. The border territory becomes indistinct and interchangeable. The veiled context reduces the checkpoints to models - phase-out models. At the same time they appear as memorials for the past division and remind us of what is still unaccomplished. They mark the transition from past to future.

In ├╝bergang Joseph Schulz presents a consistently conjugated block of works in the tradition of the Becher school, to which he feels connected as a Ruff-apprentice. Just as in his series Centre Commercial, Sachliches or Formen the artist applies digital means in addition to documentary arrangement in order to produce architectural clarity. The documentary core is intensified. The visible manipulations on the photographs do not diminish the exhibits' reality content. On the contrary: the photographic transition, which Schulz embarks on, serves the discovery of truth. [ArtFacts]

From "Sachliches":