matthias reichelt

Reality bites
On my tours with bike through Berlin as well as on my travels through the German republic by train I always take my digital camera with me to shoot whatever I find worth to be remembered: Images with people that are mostly unknown to me and often situations that show an interesting architecture or a remarkable order of signs and symbols. They focus situations and scenes that would probably be not recognized by others. They successfully permeate the coppice of my multimedia-based sealing off and ask for my attention. Roland Barthes examined in his last essay „Camera Lucida“ the „bright room“ to find out what an image must have to make something sound in his mind. In a different way I have to ask myself what scenes and situations, orders and structures often ignored by other people make something „sound“ in me.
I am referring to perception, focussing and setting the frame and choosing the section for my image to transfer my focus of perception into the image. In this sense I call my images on one hand „personal views“ and on the other hand they are somehow a fixation of what we call reality. I use the word somehow since through my personal setting the frame is emphasizing my personal focus. They are visual „fait divers“, that would never appear in a newspaper, since no editor would find them worth to be published. Set in row as a series, the images are a collection of reality bites, small and ephemeral situations in a social context, which make you sense the real condition of a wider context. If you take reality as a subject reality bites not only means the smallest unit of digital memory (bit) but the sentence: reality bites. As if the reality is striving after my attention and succeeds in receiving my recognition and causing me to document it with my digital camera. After all the images express my personal view on the microcosmic of society.
I am always interested in a subjective view on society on the state of society. With this focus I find motives in public space, I find as interesting as introspective of a private cosmos. Signs and symbols in public space are somehow evidence for private conditions. Omnipotence or displacement of social deprived as for instance the owner of the sports utility vehicle (SUV) with extremely big tires seen in the Leipziger Straße in Berlin. His high car, almost a tank, allows him to be in a higher position than all the other in traffic. The car owner – assumable not a winner – probably has the illusion that this could be true for other spheres in society?
The jungle of traffic signs is a found motive, making clear the absurd delusion to administer as much as possible while at the same time redistribution from the bottom to the top has been taken place pushing big parts of society in a precarious situation.
Klaus-Rüdiger Landowsky one of the main responsible of the Berlin bank scandal had always had a seat on the board of the lottery society and was therefore recognized as one of the big supporters for contemporary art in Berlin. In 2006 I could watch him walking the art forum totally lonesome. Nobody of this opportunistic art system, that had praised him before all the time, wanted to be seen with him anymore. But the art had its new hero who had been supported by Landowsky too and made it as a self-taught curator into the MoMA and on the cover of a supplement of a newspaper. Somehow his head on the cover reminded me of Mussolini. Matthias Reichelt

Matthias Reichelt, born 1955, lives as a free lance writer, art critic, editor and curator in Berlin.

Near Schönhagen, Schleswig-Holstein, September 2007

Somewhere in the Federal Republic of Germany, April 2010

In Kiel, intersection of Faul- and Haßstreet, September 2007

Kiel, September 2007

Winterfeldtstreet, Berlin, April 2010

House of Parlament of the City of Berlin, Berlin, October 2007

Trainstation Zoo, Berlin, April 2006

Berlin Public Cleansing Service (BSR), Berlin, March 2010

Gotenstreet, Berlin, April 2010

In a restaurant in Schöneberg, Berlin 2008

Köpenickerstreet, Berlin, November 2008

Kreuzberg, Berlin, March 2010

Kreuzbergstreet, Berlin, October 2008

Near Friedrichstreet, Berlin, April 2005

New Star, Art Forum Berlin, September 2006

Potsdamer Street, Berlin, April 2006

Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, June 2009

Protest near Unter den Linden, Berlin, March 2005

Rollberg Mall Neukölln, Berlin, February 2007

Savignyplace, Berlin, October 2007

Near Schillingbrigde, Berlin, November 2008

Schöneberg, Berlin, September 2007

SUV in Leipziger Straße, Berlin, September 2005

From center to the periphery, Klaus Rüdiger Landowsky on the Artforum,
Berlin, September 2006

Front garden, Schönhagen, Schleswig-Holstein, September 2007