Viktoria Binschtok traces in her photographic work the idea of visibility. By defering the context in interesting ways she raises questions about which contents are transported within clearly defined image borders and which ones – based on our common knowledge – surpass them. Binschtok refers equally to images taken from media sources such as the Internet as well as images taken by herself in order to discuss their function and representation.
In her newest series World of Details she connects both analogue and digital image sources. Basis to her work here are selected images from the gigantic GoogleStreetView archive in order to assemble her images. She then establishes a second image level through the analogue detail shots she has taken at the respective site.
Binschtok’s first step is strictly analytical when she filters street views that show by-passers who look into the camera and who are actually aware of being photographed. But in contrast to traditional “picture-taking” there is no person taking the picture. Those depicted look into a lense of an apparatus set on a car roof and that takes full-automatic panorama shots of its surroundings. These street views cannot be exceeded in authenticity as they were shot without any sense of composition. The second step leads Binschtok physically to the sites chosen by the previous selection process in order to make her own picture of the existing reality on site. While the reference pictures depict the section of the street view with a certain distance, the artist now zooms in and thus contrasts the programmed automat with something very human in the end: intention.
The link between the different levels and the question of digitally and analogously prepared image reflect also in the presentation of the work. In contrast to its mere informative purpose Viktoria Binschtok treats the StreetView images as artefacts of the world we live in. By pasting the unitary small ink jet prints on mdf plates she manually blurs the black ink printing. These ‘hybrid images’ develop an unforeseen narrativity. They unite photographic detail and painterly gesture when the filtered faces – blurred beyond recognition anyway by a software – ‘merge’ with their surroundings. The much larger c-prints of the detail shots are taped into object frames. The frayed edges of the photographic prints, notes and technical details on the side of the prints can be still identified. Being so immediate these photo-objects appear like artefacts taken from a social environment of a different species. In combination with their reference pictures they let a subtle exchange of perspectives happen within the same medium.
In delineating the complexity of World of Details Binschtok does not only shed a light on our world but she manages to walk the thin line of photography that goes beyond documentary while relinquishing the means of staging at the same time.