The American Dream, Overexposed

 

Die Rheinplfalz, May 26, 2006

 

 

The desert, vast Californian expanses, shimmering light, a mythically charged somewhere only a few hours distant from Los Angeles by car. Trailer landscape. David Lynch territory, with which one is familiar without ever having been there. A scene befitting men with bare chests and revolvers, cowboy figures. And designed for women with glittering hot pants, gaudy wigs, call-girl accessories, and a lackluster melancholy: entangled in stories loaded with sex, violence and tenderness. Stefanie Schneider's blown-up Polaroids―spotted, overexposed, shot as with half-closed eyes, jazzy and spooky―resemble faded and second-hand memories, Hollywood film-clichŽs whose superficiality has become porous. DŽjˆ-vus with patina. Stefanie Schneider's photos almost always seem like cinematic stills. The images of the photographic artist, who was born in 1968 in Cuxhaven and studied at the Folkwang School in Essen, quite frequently refer to film titles and thereby tap into a collective memory. Hatje Cantz has now published the monographic, illustrated book Stranger than Paradise about Stefanie Schneider (edited by No‘lle Stahel and Daniela Bosshardt. German/English 200 pages. 320 colored illustrations, 35 Euros). She is the artist whose works are currently the most frequently sold in Germany.