ALEXANDER HAHN

electronic media artist

 

ALEXANDER HAHN

electronic media artist

• Work Statement:

 

Public Places - Private Strangers -Temporal Encounters is ongoing investigation about portraiture. These images are shot with a concealed camera, so as not to disturb a person's privacy or the course of events with a visible lens. Only seemingly just another commuter or visitor, I try to capture those rare moments when people drop their masks and a person's face reveals his or her individuality or when strangers look at me, not as a photographer but as a natural counterpart.

These encounters happen by chance and often in unexpected places, as in The Butterfly House, which occurred in the Boston Museum of Science: "Exit only - do not enter!" the sign says. There is no return to childhood. Her & Max juxtaposes German expressionist portrait paintings with their guard at the Fogg Museum. She laughs when I ask her if I could take her picture and says "No, I always look horrible on photos." In Leaving the United States, another triptych, I'm stealing a forbidden look of a TS agent looking at me - surveillance reversed. The triptych format imparts the chronological order of images shot in rapid succession. At other times, a single image suffices: the rapture experienced by the young woman holding a snake or the brooding of the older woman in The Medium in a subway train during rush hour.

 

• Technical Statement:

 

The photos are based on screen shots taken while combing through hours of shaky, blurry and mostly unusable videos recorded by a camera disguised as a watch. The framing is not done by my photographer's eye but by the chance movements of my arm. A cheap watch, it produces very low-res pictures and the color space is shifted towards the infra-red, both qualities I like very much and try to enhance digitally.

The 8 images represent only the digital files. The actual works are inkjet prints, some of them triptychs, on various transparent substrates, e.g. polycarbonate or glass, shimmed with a variety of media that endow the pictures with a sensual, almost painterly quality, not normally found in photographs and add a radiance to the inks that is close to the original RGB colors, the realm of light I'm so drawn to.

 

Public Places - Private Strangers -Temporal Encounters