Hannes Schmid


Cowboys - Photography

"The photograph itself is completely inanimate (I don't believe in living photographs), but it animates me: therein precisely consists any adventure."
Roland Barthes, The Bright Chamber, 1979-1980

Barthes describes the attraction that a particular photograph has for him as an adventure. Whether one engages in it or not is in the eye of the beholder. Even more than his literary or cinematic role model, the photo cowboy is a visual hasard, for he holds still, and on the smooth and calm surface of the photograph, ideas and longings are reflected with a hint of freedom.

Cowboys - Painting

"Nevertheless, photography does not touch art through painting, but through theater."
Roland Barthes, The Bright Chamber, 1979-1980

Hannes Schmid's Cowboys, photographed or painted, refer on different levels to what photography is and can do. It is technical, reproducible, and variable in size and format. Surprisingly, these qualities are most apparent in their painted version. For the painted cowboy does not negate its photographic origin; on the contrary, the painting is still based on a fragmentary view, and the detail corresponds to what the eye of the camera sees. Distortions and blurring are accepted and translated into painting. Only the temporality in the picture is different. Painting becomes unique, if you will, and the theater of artistic staging thus once again becomes the center of attention.

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