Ever since the invention of photography, this new medium has been in competition with the previously dominant genre of painting. Photography as a means of capturing the real world at first seemed to obviate the need for painting. Later, impressionists, cubists, and eventually abstract painters moved away from figurative imagery, until artists such as Richter or Polke transferred photography back into painting.
These conflicting challenges are at the heart of Berit Schneidereit’s work, who creates hybrids through “analog” editing of digital images and joins together photographic methods with techniques used in painting, graphic art, and collage. Schneidereit mostly takes photographs in botanical gardens. In the darkroom, she then superimposes a grid or net-like structure over her motifs, which become blurred, ambiguous, and hazy. The artist thus achieves something that is close to painting once again. Like invisible curtains, her manipulations distort or obscure our view of the real image.
Her work in this way questions the relationship between visibility and invisibility (also as a result of the media) and illustrates how the visual media, that are available today, force themselves between our gaze and the world.