Karin Hoerler and the purity law
About photography in Karin Hoerlerâ€™s works.
It is clear that Karin Hoerlerâ€™s work is based on photography. However, they are not photographs that she took herself, but pictures that have been found or, to be more exact, selected purposely. Karin Hoerler concentrates
The experimental manipulation of documentary image material reached its zenith in the experimental German documentary film by Walther Ruttmann: "Berlin: Sinfonie der GroĂźstadtâ€ť ("Berlin: The Symphony of a Metropolisâ€ť).
Walther Ruttmann wrote that he sought â€śto make a Film-Symphony from the existing real energy of movement in the metropolitan organismâ€ť. In the filmâ€™s treatment the screenwriter Carl Meyer wrote that a symphonic film structure aimed to forgo actors and a story, to concentrate on reality and to create a composition from the basic resources of film itself. The symphonic montage created new meaning that went beyond the representational character of documentary films. A movement to the left would be edited opposite a quasi mirrored movement to the right. Upwards would be countered by a downward movement, and so on.
Karin Hoerlerâ€™s montage of documentary material also follows a musical and rhythmic structure. And if film history confirms that the viewer is hypnotized by the rhythm of Ruttmannâ€™s film, it can be said that something similar is also found in Karin Hoerlerâ€™s photo montage.
The perceptual psychology aspect in axial symmetry.
The phenomenon of axial symmetry has a special position in aspects of the large field of perception psychology.
The axial-symmetrical representation delivers only half the alleged information. The fact that the same content
Gombrichâ€™s research records shows that such apparent redundancy results in the eyes automatically looking for the point that shows the join or break in the figures that have been created in this way. One could say that a "break finderâ€ť (a term developed by Gombrich) steers our gaze.
When the break - the edit - in the film â€śBerlin: die Sinfonie der GroĂźstadtâ€ť (â€śBerlin: The Symphony of a Metropolisâ€ť) occupies the memory of the viewer with a right movement after a mirrored left movement, similar to musical figures, in the case of a simple folded figure image all the elements are present simultaneously, which allows it to viewed quickly. The inherent balance in the figures is perceived as pleasing.
Rival systems develop that spread out on both sides, as well as up and down. The searching never ends because there are various possible ways of reading them. And the wandering gaze finds itself more and more in a visual minefield, where perception focuses on the changing figures within, which we are not able to isolate or hold on to. And so the pattern seems to fluctuate before our very eyes.
In her work with photographs Karin Hoerler opens up the actual image by making cuts in the picture. It is then mirrored and duplicated along these cuts. But where an ornament that could easily be deciphered begins to form, she accumulates breaks and edges and withdraws the new figure from this agreeable perception.
The photos that Karin Hoerler laid out on her dissection table, in 2008, came from her family album and document her parentsâ€™ history before she was born. Karin Hoerler subjects these pictures, full of memories from her families past, to patterning. She segments them and creates edges by breaking them apart, then she multiplies them by repeatedly mirroring the pieces until their mass becomes an ornament.
The Mass Ornament, formulated by Siegfried Krakauer in 1927.
In an essay published in the Frankfurter Zeitung, June 1927, Siegfried Krakauer speaks of a mass ornament. He exposes a choreographic fashion that forms ornaments with large numbers of people, using the Tiller-girls as an example. He writes:
The opening of the Berlin Olympics in 1936 presented thousands of members of the Eichkamp International Student Sports Camp as parts of a moving ornament, all swinging hoops and ribbons. And in her film for the Olympics Leni Riefenstahl edited symphonically, movement against movement.
Ornamental violence is the father of all things and the mother of all suffering.
The photos with childhood memories are not the source material for Karin Hoerlerâ€™s pictures from 2007 to 2010. For these she uses photos from her motherâ€™s and fatherâ€™s lives before that time. They are photo-documents that alongside their documentary character have something inherently orchestrated about them.
â€śThe Tillergirls canâ€™t be put together again as people, the mass physical exercises curve in a way that denies rational understanding because they are never carried out by a whole complete body. Arms, legs and other segments are the smallest parts of a whole composition.â€ť (Krakauer)
Those born later mostly have an uncomprehending view of their parentsâ€™ youth, but may find a possible approach to interpretating it in Karin Hoerlerâ€™s work. The nazification process was also an ornamental one.
In trying to locate her parents Karin Hoerler has consciously, or maybe unconsciously, discovered the structure of an era. Because patterns erase individuals Karin Hoerler sometimes marks her father and sometimes her mother with a cross.
Karin Hoerler works even more intensely with the chosen images by drawing increasingly disintegrating motifs with wax-oil crayons directly onto large canvases.
Karin Hoerlerâ€™s montage confronts the viewer with her own individual search for the answer to the question: where do I come from, and what are my roots?
Gottfried Hafemann, 2010