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 shaky, blurry and mostly unusable videos recorded by a body worn camera. The framing is not done by my photographer's eye but by the chance movements of my body. A cheap camera, 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 images shown here 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