3+1 Gallery, 2009, Lisbon

Press Release

The set of images presented here under the title ‘Remembrance’ is based on an old photo album found in Daniela Krtsch´s studio in Chiado. The images seem to span several decades, possibly the 30s or 50s of the last century, as loosely suggested by the costumes of those portrayed, but we can do little more than speculate. At a glance, you can not detect anything to identify the people pictured, the pose and attitude of an official portrait, whose iconographic paraphernalia or strategic placement on the wall of a given building would dispense with further questions. But there is palpable familiarity in the “everyday”, and instantly one can recognize the format that we are very accustomed to decoding. You decide.

The works of Daniela Krtsch (Göttingen, 1972) always gravitate towards the silent representation of the snapshots with a considerable narrative power. The realistic figuration with blurred lines, fluid brushstrokes, slightly defocused and saturated colors are a far cry from the photographic representation, and approaches the process of painting with somewhat comfortable and seductive demeanour, finally what appears so effectively is how they illustrate our thought process as well as our instinct to know. In ‘Remembrance’ this approach is characterized.

The portrayed look at us directly in familiar poses, in a conscious display of intimacy. The way they show themselves to eachother, as well as the way they try and capture the image of one another (we are, after all, before a family album), tell us clearly that they all know who eachother are. There are young people, old people, gravitas, informality and apparent affection. The questions are no longer focusing solely on the narrative which emerges from the images, which becomes secondary; the emphasis is on a genealogical narrative which then unravels itself. More than an invitation to meddling, there is an appeal to the identification and genealogical layout. And this appears to us almost unconsciously, as is the hallmark of her paintings.

The artist loosens the constraints dictated by an excessive personalization of individuals, mitigating or deleting their faces and representing them against a black background, devoid of information. We are thus released for a game of who is who, which stands before an iconography of relationships. This allows the viewer to take ownership of the images and interpret them in light of what these elements mean to us. The distribution of characters in the genealogical structure will therefore be made ​​according to the position they occupy in our own genealogies.

This could be our family. Or anyones.

Rodrigo Ortigão de Oliveira
September, 2009