A large wave printed on the wrapper for a model building kit of sea rescue ships. Reproduced in 78" x 118". From the nearest distance the cheap colour printing process is revealed which is used in product advertising.
The information printend on the can resembled a logbook entry that immediately evoked in me the stories of sailors, adventurers, a specific form of masculinity combined with the greatness of unpredictable nature. Stereotypes of old times that didn‘t fit the dull production process of a mass product lying in the shelves of a supermarket.
A photo showing „Charisma“ and her crew at full speed on the high seas. While researching for newspaper articles about the ship and the tragedy the vintage print with subtitles was found in the „International Magazine Services photo archive - IMS“. The original print is displayed in the exhibition.
As part of the photographic and material investigation of the maritime accident, a model was built that corresponds to the general idea of a fishing trawler, which was then sunk in an aquarium for a week, then photographed in an idealised seascape.
I have dealt with old seafaring myths and the specific materiality in which they are expressed. It was always striking to see a unpredictable nature, which was always represented as an uncontrollable almost godlike quantity. This nature could be challenged, but never controlled. The photographic reproduction of an oil painting on the outer packaging of a ship in a bottle became part of the artwork.
Similar to the moment when you hold a shell to your ear and hear the past sound of the sea. The past can also be heard from this opened pressure vessel. These are probably the last recorded radio messages of the ship giving in formation about its location followed by a weather report of the coast guard. The weak signal that was intercepted can be seen and heard.
Pigment-inkjet prints, printed wallpaper, fragment of canned fish can, pressure steel sleeve, 7 inch TFT monitor, media player, videoloop (5min), wooden crate 23in x 20in x 20in
I am intrigued by works that start with a tiny piece from reality and through that are able to touch on large questions on today‘s society. Malte Sänger‘s CHARISMA starts with a such a tiny piece and then, in a very playful manner, oscillates between the individual and mass production / consumption, seafaring myths and their disappearance in modern society, mankinds fascination with the ocean and the inability of control. His work also touches on questions of the image, idealized images and their reproduction and thus makes us think about the production of images themselves, too.
(Daniela Friebel, curator, artist)
This photographic work is based on the discovery of a can of canned fish. In addition to the standardised printed code of origin, the name of the ship „CHARISMA“ was also found on it. It turned out that this batch of cans was the last to be brought ashore by the ship before any further trace of the vessel‘s whereabouts disappeared in the vast North Sea. Suddenly, the trivial mass product of an exploitative consumption became the relic of the last signs of human life. The trivial materiality now stood in radical contrast to the quality of information. In this work the discrepancy between identity and materiality in the context of a demythologized world of commodities and products is explored by various photographic investigations.