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Martina Sauter
at Ambach & Rice, Seattle, Washington
Recommendation by Joey Veltkamp

Continuing through October 31, 2010

The work in "Shapely Shadows and a New Apartment" feels vaguely familiar. German photographer Martina Sauter uses still images from films by Lynch, Goddard and Hitchcock as source material and adds elements from her studio to fabricate mysterious landscapes full of curtains, doors, and empty chairs. This cinematographic approach, in which the individual image is understood as part of a sequence, specifically a sequence of pictures, is a fundamental aspect of Sauter's work, which points to the temporality of perceptions. But the work carries its own essence of suspense, as if any moment a figure might enter the picture and catch us in the act of watching. That thrill is what gives life to these photographs.
"Roter Vorhang"follows in the vein of Robert Mapplethorpe and Nan Goldin, pushing us over the edge of voyeurism and into desire. The left half of the image is obscured by a red curtain. The remainder of the image is Brigitte Bardot, wrapped only in a red towel, reclining on a bed with her back turned to us. We know we're supposed to look away but the anticipation of what will happen next keeps our gaze. Creating tension in her compositions seems to be her trademark.

Ambach & Rice

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