Text written by Estefania Sokoloff
Curator of Invasion/Liberation

Klaus Fruchtnis defines himself as an "image-maker”, a particular composition of words which show states of a concrete attitude for the work, and also its imagination, its fancy, which could fit among the pages of Wonderland.

The photographic art creates an activity (understood from an historical view), which captures reality and experimentation of objets at the same time which makes them transcend time. The image, obligated to be objective or even a prisoner of speech, makes its way from the verb "being" to the verb "to be" while only pressing on the shutter release. The photographic glance, characteristic of the trade seizes a greater quantity of cruelty and opens a window of infinite curiosity for the human being: to look through the eyes of another person. And lastly the spectator, who confronts himself with a mummification and receives an infinity of codes which intermingle the real time with imaginary space, is the one whom, in the position of referee (or perhaps victim would be more suitable), must decide if the result is placid and coherent in view of the contradiction of his senses. But then, where is the artist located in this description ?

"If I could say it with words, I would not need to take a camera with me", Susan Sontag. 1

This is one of the great paradoxes of photography. Is the photographer a real "image-maker" as described by Klaus, or an orchestra conductor who describes a priori the perception and sensitivity of each former component ?

Speaking about the photographic projects of an artist leads to a large crossroads because each word is attached to an interminable list of variables which do not enable him to disregard any certainty of its significance. Word and image have always been best friends, but one never really manages to invade the ground of the other.

Klaus interiorizes the details of his work so deeply that even the photographic technique turned in his favor to succeed in connecting his glance to our contemporary vision.

I quote the artist: "My work is not a panoramic photograph, nor reproduction of a space. My work is composition: several photographs taken and composed one by one, assembled to give the impression of reality. When we look at each photograph we believe that it is an exact copy of reality but in fact there are elements which help us to understand that it is not true reality. The perspective is false, things are not concave but convex, and the vertical and horizontal view of architecture help to underline the presence of moving characters.”

Klaus plays with contemporary images; he plays this role game which in the society is the base of our relation with others. Alice also had it in mind:

"We play so that there is some way of going through the mirror: we play to make crystal become soft as if it was gauze so that we can walk through it. But how? It appears to be darkening even in this moment and changing into a kind of fog! (...)" 2

Fruchtnis built a language around pleasure. His objective, the image, is the engine of a series of contemporary conditions. His photography seems to emerge from the narration of a book, or a fragment of a song. The sensory coincidence which occurs observing his project is like one of the most prominent and detachable qualities of his practice. There are odors and intuitive savors in Klaus’ photography; when pleasure is the principal objective, it is necessary to resort to a sensory confabulation around the spectator.

Klaus sets up a strategy of vision, not a simple view. That consists, same as in Alice, to cross the mirror and see things from the angle which we can never see. But how does he accomplish this? Inserting in each one of his photographs a shadow or a character which does not belong to the narrative sequence, an eyewitness which takes care of the harmony of the composition so that our eyes are posed there without fear that the information could be modified. They are characters who also have the gift of omnipresence; they traverse the paper in such a way that the limits of the illusion merge with our memory.

"(...) And indeed, the crystal of the mirror was dissolving, being demolished in Alice’s hands, as if it were a silver plated and brilliant fog".

Just as Alice, the artist succeeds in translating the desires into plastic facts: to understand the image through the dynamic perspective of daily things. His work, not being simply narrative, contains the qualities of illusion and trickery which affect our perception with the personality of his project.

His glance is placing itself in an intermediate point between the printed object and the uncertainty of a scene in which we do not take part. His glance is a guarantee of the sensory abandonment to which his photographs invite us. It is the required device for the anxiety to transcend the inert and static lens in a dynamic being fully open for our participation. Each object in the world has two faces, and the images which are set up by Klaus are the illusion of a scene which communicates with the other side of the mirror.

1. Sontag Susan, Sobre la fotografía, About Lewis Hine, p. 195. Ed. Edhasa, Spain 1981.
2. Caroll Lewis, Alicia a través del espejo, p. 41. Translation of Jaime Ojeda. Ed. Alianza, Spain 1997.

© 2002