Twenty-four frames. That’s the number of frames in one second of motion picture film.
Through these 24 images, we experience the world as we know it, or as we have never seen it. They tell us a story, cast a spell over us. If we stop the film, press the pause button, all motion stops, the narration falls silent, and we ask ourselves what happens next?
Let’s take a closer look at the frame frozen before us. Let’s detach our minds from the montage of previous images and just concentrate on this single image, this one moment, and let it sink in. Suddenly and almost miraculously, the story comes together as we continue viewing it in our own mind and imagination, experiencing it in an entirely different way. This mirrors a process in Kai Kniepkamp’s work as a film editor, assembling moving images into a story.
The flow of the images is deliberately stopped again and again, be it to check the sequencing and timing or to look for inspiration and ideas for further progress. It is precisely this process — ascertaining the situation and the incredible number of possibilities of expression — that is also the basis of Kniepkamp’s photographic work.
Artistic exaggeration is an essential part of Kniepkamp’s work, presenting a world somewhere between impressionist painting and pop kitsch and in part with powerful graphic divisions and unusual color compositions. We hear the sounds and smell the scents of the forest, the sea, a vibrant city. We dive into these other worlds in our own imaginations; we want to be part of the action. In photography as well as in film, the emergence of the story in the mind of the viewer, the personal, individual sense of the situation, is what the work of Kai Kniepkamp is all about.
Sometimes Kniepkamp works with a given situation, but at other times he creates scenes, as if on a stage, placing figures or objects in different settings, like on the market square in a mountain village in southern France, on the promenade of San Remo, on the Normandy coast experiencing a roaring Atlantic, along a high alpine pass in the Swiss mountains, in the high-rise canyons of Berlin-Reinickendorf. It is not only the “great big world” that features in Kniepkamp’s settings. Sometimes a sofa, a swimming pool, or a detail of a house wall is enough to tell a story.
Exhibition at artloft.berlin Nov.22 - Feb.23.
Exhibition curation: Tanya Berlinski
Music performance by Zoé Cartier