Questions to Andrzej Steinbach

Andrzej Steinbach Figur I, Figur II

Via a plurality of gestures, clothes and camera perspectives, Andrzej Steinbach presents the potential identities of two young women. The artist mostly refrains from an interpretation of the subjects while doing so. Already the title, Figur I, Figur II, is chosen for its undefined nature and the setting of the portraits is similarly sober. At first sight, the glances of Steinbach’s characters or the details of their clothing and gestures seem to reveal a particular type of person, an assumption shattered by the very next image through only slight changes in body language or camera perspective. Ultimately, the instability of the seemingly objective photographic image is revealed.

Andrzej Steinbach, Untitled, 2015, from Figur I, Figur II © Andrzej Steinbach, courtesy Andrzej Steinbach and Gallery Conradi

One question to Andrzej Steinbach

Q Why are you interested in portraiture?

A Cultural symbolism, history, social practice and their importance for individuals and their identity formation form the central interest of my work. The portrait and its ideological purposes are a frequent point of departure for an interrogation of the constitution and potential transformation of society. Specific attributions play just as important a role as acquired or contradictory poses which turn the portrayed person into a character, a signifier.

Andrzej Steinbach, Untitled, 2015, from Figur I, Figur II © Andrzej Steinbach, courtesy Andrzej Steinbach and Gallery Conradi
Andrzej Steinbach, Untitled, 2015, from Figur I, Figur II © Andrzej Steinbach, courtesy Andrzej Steinbach and Gallery Conradi

Figur I, Figur II is part of the exhibition Who Are You? That's You! What portraits (do not) reveal of the portrayed? at Sammlung Prinzhorn