The Tooth of Time
It is obvious that the photographer Stefanie Schneider has a background in film. All her pictures live from the dust-filled eroticism of American road movies. For Hitchhikers, the thirty-seven-year-old artist sent her protagonists into the desert.
Falk Schreiber, u-magazine, januar 2006, issue 2, p.82-87
The air shimmers. Desert. A
highway, massive autos, dusty kisses. One is familiar with these sorts of
images from films, even if one hasn't yet seen this particular one. In any
case, it seems to be older: The tooth of time has gnawed at the photos; they
are discolored, strangely and incorrectly exposed, covered with white spots.
False! The photographic series Hitchhikers was created this year; the photos got their patina because the photographer Stefanie Schneider only uses film which has passed its expiration date by up to five years, and which accordingly reacts to light in unpredictable ways. Where one's assumptions are correct is in the matter of the cinematic allusions: Schneider received a degree in film at the Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen and was a cutter for several years. In the USA, she was responsible for the scene photos in the feature-film debut (Everything put together) of Marc Forster (Monster's Ball, Finding Neverland) and out of tha collaboration developed her own photographic series Suburbia.
Hitchhikers is similarly structured and actually consists of
stills, in this case without the accompanying film: loosely staged pictures in
which the protagonists have space for spontaneous improvisations. No plot, but
moods which seem familiar to us. Schneider remarks that during the shooting she
was thinking of Thelma and Louise.
The series is marketed along
with other works of Schneider by the Editions Galerie Lumas (www.lumas.de), the
Galerie Caprice Horn in Berlin (www.capricehorn.com), and the Zurich gallery
nd-projects. The Lumas branch in Munich is featuring Schneider in the
exhibition Polaroid Movie through
February 28, and starting on February 23 the feature film Stay runs, in which Schneider's pictures play a crucial
role. And the thirty-seven-year-old artist, who lives alternately in Berlin and
Los Angeles, continues to work on her filmography. At the moment she is
developing along with Marc Forster a concept of transferring her typical
photographic aesthetic into moving pictures. The working title is 29 Palms
CA. A genuine feature film, with the
Hollywood star Radha Mitchel (Melinda and Melinda) in a leading role, but characterized by Indie
charm. There is no hierarchy. Screenplay, direction and filming were realized
in a collaborative endeavor. Thus 29 Palms CA is a continuation of the working mode typical of Hitchhikers. Here as well, a storyboard provided a conventional
framework which, however, could be extended by the female actresses almost at
In spite of all joy in experimentation, 29 Palms CA is intended for the cinemas. Schneider doesn't want to become stuck in the aloof world of art. "I'm sure that Marc Forster can come up with the financing," she laughs, full of confidence in the driving power of the Oscar nominee. She will talk, and Hollywood will listen.