| russemblage |
The abandonment of a single settlement or whole areas may signal fundamental changes. The withdrawal of the Soviet Army from the former German Democratic Republic, whose territory then became part of the Federal Republic of Germany, documents such a fundamental change and its aftereffects. Everything that appears to be unimportant at the time of abandonment will be left behind. There is waste lying around in the deserted area, garbage with the sense of being picked up anytime soon, debris that will remain behind. Countless hardly accessible properties which have been used (and some also built) and abandoned a few decades later by the Soviet army are waiting, crumbling, to be used again.
The existence of such traces of a stale past which point to an open future is the documentary starting point for Heiko Krause’s photographic approach entitled “russemblage”. His photographic eye witnesses what survives the course of history- leftovers, as invaluable as their disposal would be expensive. Military life, whose monumentally heroic and mundanely naïve label is still attached to all the debris, has long lost its power and importance.
It is the treatment of this detachment through which Heiko Krause’s photographs formulate their artistic attitude. Through the lens of the photographer the accumulated material has been transformed to deeply sensual objects, each with its very own character. Nothing is covered or hidden - everything is shown in the moment of its detachment of the historical subject. The photographer gave a certain visual stringency to the compositions he found, but at the same time his work still has a delicate, floating character. The images guide the viewer boldly into the unknown and leave the decay of power, as far as it goes, to itself. Here lies the beauty of his work. They are the embodiment of a movement which is going on but at the same time acknowledges transience.
Prof. Michael Astroh - Department of Aesthetics | translation into english: Susann Jonneg