Timm Rautert’s Bildanalytische Photographie [Image-Analytical Photography], from 1968 to 1974, highlights the fundamental conditions of photographic work-from the photographic act and the development of photographic images under an enlarger in the lab to the various possibilities of presentation. A systematically elaborated ensemble of analogue black-and-white and color photographs, of image-text compilations, and of manuals and photographic material provokes elementary questions about what photography means as a medium, what is expected from it, and how it has shaped the perception of the world. Scenic black-and-white photographs, passport photos, lab experiments, combinations of selected photo prints with their negatives are found here among Rautert’s 56 works, but also non-photographic material such as a grey card (used for measuring light mainly in photo studios), postcards and graphic manuals. Each work becomes an element of “analysis” showing the numerous potential scenarios of photography.
I wanted to trace photography to the conditions of photography. I no longer wanted to say: that’s how it is or that’s what it looks like, rather, I wanted to say: that’s how it is with photography, and then I started my photography experiments. Timm Rautert, 2005
Exhibition: Museum Folkwang, Essen, 2021