Falk von Traubenberg — Works of impressive profoundness and thrilling trains of thoughts.
Falk von Traubenberg's works approach the topic of portrait photography in a rather offbeat way: its diversification to an installation expands the term ''portrait'', bursts it wide open and leaves it to the observers' imagination to again fill it with substance, for the manner of presentation is an unusual one: in case of the installation named 'cube' contains roughly 20.000 small-image diapositives – the entire family photo archives from 1957 - 2000. Yet no single slide is observable as the individual preserving jars filled with those slides are sealed. Falk von Traubenberg leaves it to the observers to visualise the image.
Alike the work going by the title 'Black Red Gold', yet in even larger dimension (9 metres), reflects what life holds ready for any of us. This work is composed of photographs of people from all over Germany. They are compressed memories of human lives, a selective documentation thereof with the full range of all existing potential experiences. Germany in the minds of people between stereotypes, realities and abysses. These pieces serve as catalyst and reflection surface. Being featured is what actually cannot be seen.
Herein man is not transparent, but the memory of his existence is being analogously preserved inside a preserving jar. Like a diary forever closed, within stored emotions, secrets and events. The extraordinary and special about this work is that all of the 216 jars are sealed and not meant to be opened. Therefore each observer's mind will come up with a unique image inspired by individual experiences and wishes.
Coupled with one's convictions, insecurities, arrogances and standards individual and unique images are created in each observer's mind. This circumstance provides the opportunity of living through experiences once again, good and bad, one perhaps should have captured on camera, to remind oneself of them and to rethink one's point of view towards one's life and even change it as the case may be. The physicality of the slides, the impossibility of looking at them is not only artistically but also philosophically profound.
As part of the series of his: 'texture and inter-form' Falk von Traubenberg not only shows 'coded' portraits in jars but also behind acrylic glass and on alu dibond.
The portraits of photographers being descended from the arte-series 'contact prints' provided the basis for his 'texture' series; this is where the artist transfers and translates pieces of information into a new kind of visual language – lending them picture composition, giving them rasters, lines, overlays – similar to an encryption that is to be recognised and interpreted by the recipients. The 'interform' portraits are formed on manipulated scanners which by that manipulation develop a life of their own thereby revealing what had not been visible before. Falk von Traubenberg makes a systematic step. In each of his works where he occupies himself with the portrait, the image, the imagery of human beings he tries to illustrate to the observers that a portrait as such in the classical sense – may it be a product of great master painters or result of a photograph lasting only split seconds – always is formed in the mind of the observer, reproduced in the mind of who ever looks at it.
The human being, its existence, questions, truths and lies of all earthly life can not be depicted by the help of an image (''You shall not make for yourself an idol''). At this point Falk von Traubenberg becomes not only an artist but a prophet of humanity, of the everlasting controversy between picture and portrayal.