September 27, 2022
Gregor Sailer’s Photographs Explore Architecture’s Political, Military, and Economic Implications
Just taking one shot per subject, Sailer’s photographs are devoid of human life. The son of an architect, he often portrays buildings as self-contained solitaires and thus elevates them to independent aesthetic structures with a sculptural presence—a look reminiscent of the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher.
In addition to working with a view camera, Sailer and the Becher’s common preoccupation is the use of evenly diffused light, as shadows or reflections mean atmospheric distractions.
Sailer studied visual communication from 2002 to 2007 at Dortmund Academy, placing his focus on photography and experimental film. This time brought him in touch with the “Düsseldorf School” of seeing, a term coined by the meanwhile legendary first generation of Becher students.
While there are typological approaches, Sailer’s work isn’t as exclusively and consistently defined by it as the Becher’s. Ignoring the too striking and too literal, Sailer uses architecture in his pictures to sensitize people to socially critical issues in a roundabout way.
His latest show, titled Unseen Places is on view through February 19, 2023 at Kunst Haus Wien in Vienna. “Gregor Sailer is a photographer who gives a lot of thought to his compositions, and with his elaborate pictures counteracts the fast-moving, volatile floods of images by offering tranquillity and precision instead,” says Verena Kaspar-Eisert the exhibition’s curator.
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