For his latest solo show at Martin Asbæk Gallery the German artist Martin Liebscher presents a number of his acclaimed ”family photos”, in which Liebscher is the only active figure in the visual worlds which he himself creates, and from which, in humorous ways, he raises important issues about the relationships among individual, group and identity.
Liebscher’s ”family photos” move within and between the genres group picture and self-portrait. He points to the paradox that as modern, digitalized human beings we are omnipresent, which entails at the same time that we are not truly present. Although Liebscher is the main figure in his pictures, he still disappears into a uniform anonymity.
The works are digitally manipulated and are based on scannings of the innumerable photographs Liebscher takes of himself using an automatic shutter release. Despite the obvious manipulations, the photographs are firmly rooted in reality, since Liebscher always works with a point of departure in a particular architecture or a specific social environment. The individual work titles underscore this by bearing the names of the places he invades as the omnipresent main character.
Besides ’family photos’, the exhibition also shows a selection of Liebscher’s Panorama series, which differs from the above mentioned series in focusing solely on the urban scene and entirely excluding Liebscher. Here too he plays on a duality where the panoramic images with their indistinct exteriors on the one hand create a motion in the picture that captures the busy everyday life of the city, but on the other hand create the effect of a frozen snapshot.
Martin Liebscher (b. 1964) lives and works in Berlin and Frankfurt. He trained at the Städelschule, Frankfurt a.M. and the Slade School of Fine Art, London, and since 2007 has been Professor of Photography at the Design Academy, Offenbach, Germany.