Recombinant Dual Slide Projection
Kodak Moments Ruhr reflects on the aesthetics of a post-industrial landscape, specifically Germany’s Ruhr District, Europe's former center for steel and coal production. By contrasting and constantly recombining slides of archival images and photos taken by Shannon McMullen and Fabian Winkler on a tour in 2002, the project investigates the changing relations between nature, industry, culture, leisure and place in a location that has undergone dramatic structural changes in the past 30 years.
Kodak Moments Ruhr, along with Waves, BLAM! And GRRR! was part of McMullen_Winkler’s first solo exhibition, titled Kodak Moments in the Rueff Galleries at Purdue University in September 2007. The title of the exhibition refers to instructions on how to look at respectively into a picture - inviting audience members to construct and assemble their own images prompted by the artworks. This approach was inspired by Bazon Brock's analysis of Caspar David Friedrich's famous "Rückenfigur" (for example in Wanderer above the Sea of Fog). Brock explains: "Friedrich externalizes whatever the interior of the onlooker might be. He presents how human beings can relate to their environment and in doing so perceive and shape their surroundings." 1)
In the case of the work of McMullen_Winkler, the exhibition visitor completes, creates and activates pictures not only external images but also images in their minds - through interactions with the artwork - for example by touching the buoys, by stepping into the large scale inflatables or by bringing two time periods together to create "recombinant" Kodak moments, i.e. to give new meaning to a place through recombining visual materials.
1) Brock, Bazon. "Ästhetik als Vermittlung, Arbeitsbiographie eines Generalisten." Cologne, Germany: DuMont, 1977.
Kodak Moments Ruhr