von Prof. Gerhard Glüher

Surface spannings

If the physical-sensuous experience of a built area, in which we move, changes into a photographic architecture picture, we always must accept at least two phenomena of the perception loss. First of all the picture fades out physical space-time, secondly it shows a laminar projection of three dimensions. In the history of the architecture photography one can observe that these medial transformations of an area into a surface were regarded as an apparently negative characteristic of imaging. How else can one explain all the effect-loaded radical perspectives, the sensational deep and far views than as an optical compensation, which in another way need to be balanced again?


Wolfram Janzer's approach is different. Here we also have  tension-loaded compositions, strained discords up to the border of the bearable  and provoking structural shifts, which require a maximum empathy by the viewer. But the photographer uses the surface of the colour as visual counterweight, more precisely the surface spanning by colour and line. He achieves thereby a high degree at abstraction. The line in his pictures is often not the outline, which sets a large mass off against the other one, but it is the fine, almost like drawn by hand,  the “real” line. In its motives it naturally occurs never in such a way, as we see it in the pictures, because buildings consists of wood, steel and stone and not of pencil lines. However Janzer developed the unusual ability to see, such filigree mesh out of steel frame, balustrades, facade components, glass components, timber claddings etc. in such a way that he can use it like a draughtsman according to his conceptions.


One could say, that the photographer Wolfram Janzer has learned to transform architectual space with the help of his camera in such a way, that space presents itself as an unstable equilibration with a successful subtle balancing act between plain structure and spacial perception. If architecture symbolizes the defined space, then a line stands for a hint and a gesture. The photographed architectual line therefore would represent the space gesture, which refers to the photographed space as well as allowing free associations about the space which unfolds itself out of this area: space becomes a stern but likewise poetical figure.


Labile equilibration

Wolfram Janzer's way of architecture photography does not know the usual medial deficits, which are common between spacial perception and spacial illustration, even though he also tensed up his compositions in such a provoking way that aesthetic disharmonism and structural equilibration evolve. However he is a master of equilibration who does not allow any coincidental impact. With the camera as his instrument he succeeds in transforming architectual space in his pictures such that delicate and subtle equilibrations arise between areal structure and comprehensible spacial perception. Janzer, who stems from architecture and from drawing, used the line as a symbol for a spacial gesture. It resembles actual space and at the same time it is so open to generate as well pure abstraction in the viewers eyes. His pictures walk on the line between object free associations of space and displayed architecture, which turn into poetical image figures with a firm will of design. This will generates image figures, in which area turns into space and space turns into area. This shift within the media photography is only successfull due to the unique viewing capabilities of the photographer, who turns signs of light into paintings of light.


© gerhard glueher

Gerhard Glueher is professor in ordinary for philosophy and design theorie at the free Bozen faculty for design and art