Part time punks

LambdaLambdaLambda, Pristina/Brussels
Tatjana Danneberg
5 May – 3 June 2022

Tatjana Danneberg (*1991, Vienna) is an artist who works with photography, but more precisely she is a painter who takes pictures and transforms the seemingly everyday into large-scale images of strange beauty. Her works transcend the ephemeral characteristic of contemporary photography as she immortalizes relics of what seems to be her own daily life, her being-in the-world. She captures shared moments with friends and acquaintances or objects they left behind with a simple analogue camera. Banal situations or insignificant gestures are enlarged until they develop an almost uncanny presence. Random scenes of intimacy are made monumental. Objects turn into involuntary sculptures and take the form of unpremeditated icons of the everyday. And yet Danneberg’s works are less about specific subjects, but about a certain atmosphere. Everything points to a procedural pictorial practice in which impressions, moods, and bodies are captured from the explicitly subjective perspective of the photographer, who is only a short distance removed from the situation. In this scenario, the photographing subject, the photographed body, and the surrounding space diffuse.

Danneberg scales up the photos until their content becomes blurry and surreal and prints them on vinyl. Afterwards, she applies gesso to the image with large brushes. The gesso disconnects the image from its supporting material and it can thus be transferred to canvas. In this procedure, the surface of the image cracks open, adding a new texture to it. The image is also reversed: foreground becomes background, blurred zones and sharp outlines change their places. The brushstrokes reveal basic painterly gestures: horizontals or verticals, rhythmic lines, soft curves. Intensity and form respond to the picture’s motif. Fast and slow phases alternate. The final result is often unpredictable, nevertheless structured by the different temporalities that shape the process of its making. The artist’s body, her height, the width of her arms, come into play: they guide the choreography of the treatment of the image and animate the moments frozen by photography. Editing the images thus also means adding a temporal layer that interferes with the first: mortification and animation are put into a state of suspension between the here and now, the then and there. The image receives a second life, bridging the distance in time and letting it drift away into an abstract pastness. The final work is suffused with difference, otherness. Fading moments are taken away only to be added to the work in a gestural, more vivid way. 

(Excerpt from Vanessa Joan Müller: “Tatjana Danneberg-On Involuntary Sculptures and Pricky Accidents”)