In the Studio

Claudia Rohrauer

Vienna, Austria

»What fascinates me about photography is its versatility.«

Claudia, for someone who isn’t yet familiar with your art, can you explain what artistic interest your work process is based on?
My working process is best described as a media-reflexive approach to photography that mixes conceptual and experimental approaches. Photography interests me both as a cultural technique and as a tool for the visual representation of knowledge – the associated functions of making visible, recording, and showing are what I am trying to trace in my artistic practice and bring to the surface in my works. The works I have created since 2013 are moving increasingly in the direction of an artistic exploration of the medium; photography is, so to speak, my methodof investigation – as concept and field, as material and technique – by which means I approach my work.

In a time when anyone (with a smartphone) can be a photographer, the status of the medium as an artistic one, sometimes has to be defended. What is your position on this as someone who is committed to photography as a medium?
Since its inception, when you consider the debates about whether a mechanically and chemically produced image can be art or not, photography has had in this respect to be defended. Fundamentally, the intention behind the picture should be a decisive one.What fascinates me about photography is its versatility – there is the applied field, the private photography in which the “photographers” hang out together, artistic approaches, etc. – it is precisely from this diversity of genres that the problem of classification and demarcation arises. In principle, artistic approaches function quite differently from purely commercial or private approaches; the motivation is different.  

Is there anything for you where the real strengths of photography come to bear – in other words, is there anything you can express better with photography than with any other medium?
At some point the decision for a medium is made. I think it's more of a personal thing. Of course, in photography there's this very special relation to reality – the often mentioned indexicality – and the temporal relation that sets the medium apart from others. For me, working in the darkroom at the moment of development of anis an aspect that I have rediscovered for myself after a long break – painting a picture in total darkness is certainly difficult, but perhaps isalso quite exciting.

What can we expect in your exhibition at the first edition of Foto Wien?
My works will actually be shown in three separate exhibitions, including two major projects that have been created since 2017. Curator's Choice at the festival headquarters will feature Parnidis Grain Studies, in which grain as a fundamental component of analog photography is at the center. Particularly close to my heart is the exhibition Photography as a Motif, which I developed together with Caroline Heider and Lisa Rastl. The focus here is on photographic practice – the process itself – and how it flows into artistic work as a source of ideas and thus becomes visible. And in the WUK Project Room the group exhibition Photography 2 is presented, which was initiated by the association LumenX which runs the photo laboratory at WUK. Media reflective works can be seen there.

03 Claudia Rohrauer Parnidis Grain Studies Contactsheet 12

Parnidis Grain Studies - Contactsheet No.12; (c) Bildrecht 2019/ Claudia Rohrauer

04 Claudia Rohrauer Parnidis Grain Studies Grainology

Parnidis Grain Studies – Grainology; (c) Bildrecht 2019/ Claudia Rohrauer

05 Claudia Rohrauer Parnidis Grain Studies Magnification 02

Parnidis Grain Studies - Magnification No. 02; (c) Bildrecht 2019/ Claudia Rohrauer

Interview: Florian Langhammer
Photos: Courtesy of the artist unless otherwise credited; portraits: Stefan Klampfer

Links:
Claudia Rohrauer's website
FOTO WIEN

#photography, #fotowien

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