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Expanded Pictures/ The Alphabet of Stereotypes, 2015-2019

Expanded Pictures, 2014-2019
six-part research project: photographs & cutouts, interactive video installation (performance), photo installations + ca. 150 pages text booklet (more pictures upon request)

The motto 'You press the button, we do the rest', which was created by George Eastman in 1888 for the inauguration of his new Eastman Kodak camera, in a certain way anticipated the specific functionality and importance of the medium of photography in the age of cell-phone cameras – only today it is not Kodak but Google. In her six-part series ‚Expanded Pictures’, Sarah Straßmann investigates the functionality and distribution of images in the era of smartphones, internet, and social media. Her starting point is the selfie as the ultimate medium of contemporary self-staging. Selfies serve the representation of a purported uniqueness, although they are actually predetermined by virtue of technique, distribution, and a collectively codified pictorial language. The photographs in ‚DF Archive’, a collection of duckface selfies of young women, attest to the pictographic use of a pose that has degenerated into a universal cliché. In the era of cell-phone cameras, photography has become a (social) event that serves to feed global channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. In ‚Scatter Faces’ a collective (and unreflected) duckface pose is created using a specially developed computer program in a visual copy of the original project, now presented as an autonomous work. ‚Alphabet of Stereotypes’, on the other hand, refers to an arsenal of body expanders used to make selfies and casts a spotlight on the fetish-like character of this act. Sarah Straßmann invites exhibition visitors to participate with the instructions ‚’, and the images created are continuously shown on one of the eight monitors in the interactive installation. This illustrates that nowadays the issue is not the autonomous image but the process photographing itself, which in the spirit of René Descartes’s ‚cogito ergo sum’ (I think therefore I am) declares: I photograph therefore I am.
(exhibition catalog 'gute aussichten - deluxe', 2018)

Within the artistic research work ‚Expanded Pictures’ there was created an archive of selfies first. This archive is the core of the artistic research, which is processed and developed through performatve/ interactive experiments further on.ßer-balken2_v48.jpgßer-balken2_v101.jpgßer-balken2_v43.jpgßer-balken2_v57.jpgörpergurt1.jpgßer-balken2_v54.jpgßer-balken2_v33.jpg

(exhibition view: Kunstverein Konstanz, 2019)ßer-balken2_v46.jpgärft_td.jpgßer-balken2_v28.jpgärft_td.jpgßer-balken2_v29.jpg
Expanded Pictures/ DF Portrait Archiv, 2015

(exhibition view: Bauhaus Musterhaus, Weimar 2015)ßer-balken2_v33.jpgßer-balken2_v35.jpgßer-balken2_v36.jpgßer-balken2_v34.jpgßer-balken2_v100.jpg
Expanded Pictures (interactive installation), since 2014

(exhibition view: Bauhaus Musterhaus, Weimar 2015)ßer-balken2_v45.jpgßer-balken2_v41.jpgßer-balken2_v56.jpg view kw 1.jpg

(exhibition view: KW – Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin 2014)ßer-balken2_v102.jpg view kw 2.jpgßer-balken2_v40.jpg
Expanded Pictures (interactive performance), since 2014

(exhibition view: Catalog, Kreuzberg Pavillon Berlin at GaDeWe, Bremen 2014)ßer-balken2_v38.jpgßer-balken2_v103.jpg 06_100x100 300dpiweb.jpg
Expanded Pictures/ Scatter Faces, 2015-2019ßer-balken2_v37.jpg 03_100x100 300dpiweb.jpgßer-balken2_v51.jpg 04web.jpgßer-balken2_v44.jpg

(exhibition view: Kunstverein Konstanz, 2019)ßer-balken2_v55.jpg 05web.jpgßer-balken2_v49.jpg 07web.jpgßer-balken2_v45.jpg
Expanded Pictures/ me, myself & I, 2016-2019

(exhibition view, Kunstverein Konstanz, 2019)ßer-balken2_v42.jpg
Expanded Pictures/ SP Backdrops, 2019 (site specific work)ßer-balken2_v43.jpgße_90x70_gesch_td.jpgßer-balken2_v34.jpg

(exhibition view: Kunstverein Konstanz, 2019)ßer-balken2_v46.jpgßer-balken2_v48.jpg
Kunstverein Konstanz, 2019ßer-balken2_v30.jpgßer-balken2_v31.jpgßer-balken2_v32.jpgßer-balken2_v31.jpgßer-balken2_v37.jpgßer-balken2_v35.jpg
Haus der Photographie - Deichtorhallen Hamburg, 2018ßer-balken2_v36.jpgßer-balken2_v40.jpgßer-balken2_v41.jpgßer-balken2_v38.jpgßer-balken2_v39.jpg
Museo de la Cancilleria, Mexico City/ MX, 2018 (photos © Museo de la Cancilleria)ßer-balken2_v47.jpgßer-balken2_v49.jpg