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Bright frames before blue backgrounds. Rectilinear or, less frequently, curved. The view of the sky is unobstructed or crisscrossed by transverse struts; occasionally clouds gather. One, two, or three pillars provide support. The seemingly endless repetition—Volker Renner presents altogether around seventy photographs of Schwebende Rahmung (2012)—highlights how these structures combine utter simplicity with infinite variation.
The artist presents objects at the precarious instant between function and obsolescence. Like some works of minimal art, they bridge the antagonisms between “beginning and ending,” between “abundance and emptiness.” But the pictures are not photographs of Donald Judd’s and Dan Flavin’s works, their steel frames and neon tubes assembled for a collaborative piece. Renner found these lofty constructivist architectures towering above America’s roads: frameworks on which illuminated signs were once mounted that advertised businesses, broadcasting their radiant messages into the night to guide and allure motorists to places that no longer exist: as the venues folded, the signs disappeared as well. The ‘semaphores,’ however, remain, stripped of their semantic attire, pointing to their nature as pure signs; they are non-signs and signs of nothingness at once.
The Framing Floatings are a counterpart that complements Renner’s project A Road Trip Redone (2012), for which he revisited places, buildings, and peoples featured in Stephen Shore’s A Road Trip Journal (1973) and took their pictures. That book took note of what had vanished by leaving blanks where no photograph was available. Renner’s Floating Framings give the void its own photographic place.
Published by Volker Renner and Textem Verlag
240 x 300 mm