Friday 24 October 2014

"Fame Is The Name Of The Game" at Delmes & Zander, Berlin

Type 42 (Anonymous), Catherine Bach, 1960s-1970s, ballpoint pen on polaroid, 8,3 x 10,8 cm, Courtesy Galerie Susanne Zander/ Delmes & Zander, Cologne + Berlin

Delmes & Zander I Berlin presents

Type 42 (Anonymous)
Fame Is The Name Of The Game

31. October - 23. December 2014
Opening: Friday, 31.10., 6 – 10 pm

„so this person, obsessed with capturing dark, out of focus, often unrecognizable, fleeting images of women, sits in front of their TV every night (or day), camera in hand, watching show after show, looking for women to document. to what purpose?
(...) there are no conclusions i can make other than the mystery they provided me.”
Cindy Sherman
"Type 42" is an almost encyclopedic body of work by an anonymous artist comprised of approximately 950 black and white polaroids showing a series of head shots and close ups of actresses taken from the television screen sometime beginning in the late 1960s. Each polaroid features a carefully handwritten name in red ballpoint pen of the actress or the film or name of the TV series she is captured in. From cinema divas such as Sophia Loren, Jane Fonda or Gina Lollobrigida to long forgotten starlets from science fiction series or B-Movies, Type 42 is a testimony of an obsession with women on the silver screen. As Sam Stourdzé, former director of the Musée d'Elysée and new director of Les Rencontres d'Arles points out in the photography journal ELSE:

“The spectral aspect of the blurred and distorted figures stems from a combination of elements, the fleetingness of the moving image, the curved and glass screen, and the slanted position of the camera. The name in capital letters, in red ink, reinforces the obsessive character of the endeavour, while the occasional presence of three numbers in the upper corner certainly does not indicate the model's birth date, but actually their measurements (in inches). The contemporary observer cannot but interrogate the reasons for such frantic accumulation.” 1

The entire body of work was found in New York in the Spring of 2012 by artist Jason Brinkerhoff. The archive had been kept intact despite its multiple changing hands over the years prior to its discovery. The attempt to trace back the origin of the polaroids has remained without success. "Type 42" refers to the film stock used in this anonymous body of work. It is the name of a polaroid film that came on the market in 1955 and was discontinued in the 1992. The attempt to trace back the origin of the polaroids has to this day remained without success.

A new publication entitled Type 42. Fame Is the Name of the Game features a selection of 120 works from the extraordinary Type 42 archive. The book is edited by Nicole Delmes and Susanne Zander and will be released in November 2014 by Walther König publishing. It includes an introductory essay by the artist Cindy Sherman.

Galerie Susanne Zander / Delmes & Zander has nurtured a special love for anonymous positions over the years, regularly showing works by artists about whom little or nothing is known. In these cases in particular it is the quality and autonomy of the artistic work itself that moves into the focus of the viewer . Without artists’ cvs, the viewer is solely and immediately confronted with the work on his own. Galerie Susanne Zander / Delmes & Zander thus probes new borderline areas of art and underscores the conceptual approach of so-called Outsider Art.

1 Sam Stourdzé, “Type 42 ou la capture de l'écran,” ELSE by Elysée Lausanne, Issue 6, (2014): 81-85.

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