700 photographs from the volksbild archive, 2008
2008 Emerson Gallery, Berlin and Kunstraum FRÖAUF, Berlin
“The film (Blade Runner) is chock-full of symbolism, including an often cited reference to seeing and eyes as the ambassador of knowledge. In a related albeit less appreciated context, photographs play an important role in the movie. In one of the film’s more lyrical scenes, an android attempts to prove her humanity by conjuring up memories implanted into her psyche by means of old photographs. The link between memory and photography is instructive. It provides a concrete example of the power of appropriated images. It also provides a means of coming to terms with Susanne Wehr’s photographic assemblage Zentralfigur (Central Figure)
Wehr works here with other people’s photographs, assembling “archives” in an anonymous photo album of the common man. In Zentralfigur the only thing the snapshots have in common is their presentation of a single figure (here, often a woman) in the middle ground of the picture, sometimes in the presence of secondary figures, more often in isolation. Individually the photos might leave a banal aftertaste. Together they chronicle a collective memory which is all the more poignant because it was not merely lost – rather it was never there.
Text excerpt from the catalogue
Memories are not made of this, Russell Radzinski
Slide-dance-performance, Collage Moderne at Emerson Gallery, Germany, 2008