Fundamentally, Frank Mädler is a doubter, and precisely for this reason he chose—well before the era of Photoshop—the camera as his medium. Whatever the camera documents must exist, it has objectivity. But behind the camera is a human being who determines how the camera works and what is photographed. So objectivity is already in doubt: it, too, is subjective, the camera gives the photographer enough leeway to lend the objects his subjective image. That is what characterises him: he interprets the world with the aid of the camera. So is man the creator of the objects? Does his eye determine how they appear?
These questions come to mind when we look at Frank Mädler's photographs. They transform banal, familiar everyday things into independent pictures and give them a new meaning. Birds become blurs of light blue, water lilies are turned into dazzling monumental sculptures with many colours, and even the sea does not appear blue or gray, but rather beige, in a strange light that the photographer did not manipulate in any way.
It is only logical for him not to limit his subjective-creative activity to the production of images of something found, something that already exists. Frank Mädler uses the photographic technique also as his brush or pencil: in addition to photographs, he also produces photograms and—quite independently from photography—also clay objects that he makes with his own hands. The title of the exhibition Teile der Vernunft (Parts of Reason) is the title of a work consisting of abstract clay figurines and objects which Frank Mädler shot at, so that they each received a bullet hole before they went into the kiln. It is as if he wanted to prove their existence in this way: the hole documents that the objects exist. It is understandable that a haptic quality is important to him as a counter-pole to the virtual, subject-determined world, as a proof of existence. He takes analogue photographs and develops them in a rotary processing drum.
In Frank Mädler's first solo exhibition in Berlin, Galerie Albrecht is showing a selection of his complex oeuvre: photographs, photograms, and clay objects.
Press release courtesy Galerie Susanne Albrecht.