14.02. – 14.05.2017
WestLicht. Museum for Photography shows the first-ever overview of the photographic works of Swiss artist Alfons Schilling (1934-2013), who made his home in Austria.
Schilling is one of the most fascinating personalities in recent Austrian art history. His work consequently resists any attempts at facile categorisation, his explorer’s spirit transcending the boundaries between genres and movements. Schilling’s photographic output since the 1960s continues the works of 19th century experimenters, first and foremost stereo photography and the movement studies of Muybridge, Marey and Anschütz. Using traditional and current technologies and procedures, Schilling continued their attempts to create new modes of perception. The ambiguous images of his lenticular photographs lent the process of seeing new dynamics, merging several exposures in one image. His holograms and stereo photographs open the surface of the image, transforming it into a virtual space.
This, at the latest, was the point when the medium became the message, understood as an extension of the body in an emphaticutopian sense. It is no coincidence that the seeing machines he constructed during this period – bearing such titles as The Big Wheel or Little Bird – bring to mind the first flying machines, from Leonardo to the Wright Brothers: the possibility of limitless perception already implies liberation from the body’s physical limitations.