Original title: Treppenhaus
Colour photograph
Dimensions: 180 x 120 cm
Reference: ACF0501
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The year 1983 can be viewed as the starting point of Förg’s creative maturity, when the different aspects of his work began to find their logic of arrangement and meaning. This is particularly clear in his photographic work. His main subjects are architectural structures and elements, among them windows, whether from a particular period, such as the that of rationalism under fascist domination in Italy, with particular attention to Adalberto Libera’s and Giuseppe Terragni’s buildings, and Soviet constructions; specific houses that have both an aesthetic and a personal meaning for him, such as Curzio Malaparte’s home or the one Wittgenstein designed for his sister Margaret; or houses belonging to art collectors or gallery owners. In this series of photographs, the human figure never appears. Perhaps for that reason, as an at times biographical counterpoint, he intersperses portraits of women among the series of buildings. Staircases have been a prominent motif in both avant-gardes (Duchamp and his famous nude) and post-avant-gardes (Blinky Palermo). In Förg’s case, as well as being almost a photographic leitmotif, the staircase interprets a personal event: his fall down a stairwell, which he reflected in the ‘Fall’ series. Hence, perhaps, the absolute predominance of the overhead shot, which at the same time refers us to his interest in film (primarily Godard, Hitchcock and the German Expressionists) and to certain stage sets designed by Piranesi, whose graphic work he collects. His photographs, which are in a much larger format than is generally used by professional photographers, are solidly framed with glass that produces a mirror effect, and the passepartout is often limited to just three sides of the picture. In his own words, ‘What matters to me is how the images are looked at. When they are hung in a gallery (or anywhere else), the space is reflected in them. So one needs to walk through that space. It is very poetic to walk like that and always have views of a window.’

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