Klaus J.A. Mellenthin: Urban Spaces

Enhanced Angle. The pictures of Klaus Mellenthin obtain their effects from elements outside the fundamental
image contents: Wideness, emptiness, individual angle. As a rule, at least one, but not more than two objects
are visible. No remarkable combinations of familar things in extrinsic surroundings, no hyper artifical
photographical aesthetics, and no trash style that has been en vogue in more recent contemporary

There is neither any writing on the pictures not people indicating the meaning of the photographs. Mellenthin
relies on the moment when the viewer becomes automatically an interpreter, which means the viewer
becomes part of the picture. Our mood, anticipations and cognition become present almost immediately.
Most of the time, they do have nothing or very little in common with the actual object. The photographs are
rather metaphors activating far-reaching associations thus widening the angle of the viewer so much that,
finally, he reflects on himself. 

Deliverance of the Angle. For example, Klaus Mellenthins black-and-white pcitures of the series Urban Spaces
always show inanimate objects in front of an infinitely wide sky. The photographed pitures taken consistently
with a camera on a tripod show lifeguard cottages, bridges and boats. For Mellenthin, the emptiness constitutes
the deliverance of the angle and stimulates the perception of the viewer.

His choice of themes is lacking of any common-place character, and as a matter of fact, is very distinctive, thus
causing us, the audience, to give up our distance and to adopt Mellenthisn subjective angle. It is quite possible
that our moods become synonyms with those of the photographer at the moment he took the picture. However,
his photographs always advert to existential situations, such as journeys through life, with hints to a reality
beyond visible themes. 

Since there are no people present, we complete the picture in our minds. We add our own world of feelings
and experiences. I do something for myself and thus I am giving something to others, Mellenthin says. His
photographs show moods of the moment in two ways: the atmosphere at the time and place of the photograph
and the mood being generated through a metaphoric language to the viewer. 

Life Boat Time Bridge. This can be demonstrated verly nicely by Mellenthins BARCelOna. You can see a boat
construction in front of a dark sky with clouds scattered by the wind. Because of the low amount of ambient light,
the body seems to have no contours. On the pontoon bridge, life belts, radio masts and railings can be
foreshadowed. A pale label on the body gives no further reference. There will be change. The fear of even a
slight variation in the moment of departure. The awareness of the irreversibility of a step paired with a
presumption to the relief or even gratification of having made the necessary step, when the ship finally pulls
away. Viewers will create their own unique realities about this image. The picture becomes a metaphor for the
inner conditions of the respective viewer.

Pictures Watching back. Mellenthins psychological photography is a very human photography. Although, for
example the series Urban Spaces, does not include life and people specifically, it has much to do with life
itself. The variation in his pictures is delibating ad fresh, just like th possiblity of a free human being able to
choose the way of his life. but this latitude also retrieves the fear to lose oneself in all these possibilities.
You can get lost in Mellenthins expansive atmosphere which has allure as well as apprehension.

It is all about emotions. We look at the pictures and the pictures look back at us. This very individual and
emotionally supercharged photography operates like a private journal. The artist creates a composition of
emotions and adheres to them for an evaluation. Furthermore, pictures are simply instruments for assimilation
and self-concept. Autobiographic material, which, at this degree of  composition, cannot be but into words. Like
poems, these photographs have to be put aside to be thought upon later, in the light of distance.

As such kind of documentation of a moment or of a whole phase of life they serve the photographer himself in
the first instance. Therefore, Mellenthin points out: At first, I take these pictures for myself. His audiences are
ttendants who bring in their own autobiographic references, thus being able to enter into spaces of experiences
within the photographs.


Are you more interested in Klaus Mellenthin and his work?

Please click here: Klaus Mellenthin website
Please click here for direct contact via email.