The Berlin photographer Michael Schmidt (* 1945) is known for artistic, theme-based photo series which take several years to complete. His current series on Food, which began in 2006, will conclude in 2012. For this project, he captured images from the food processing industry at fish farms in Norway, industrial bakeries in Germany and shell-husking operations in Africa which prepare shrimp for export to Europe. Schmidt removes the local context from the images, making it almost impossible to determine whether a photo was taken at a slaughterhouse in Spain, France or England, for example. The sober shots of bread baskets, cages at fish farms or apple-washing machinery call to mind the serial analytics of objective photography of the 1920s. Although no particular photo reveals Schmidt’s personal attitude, the composition of the series in its entirety with its repetitions and accentuations arouse a disturbing impression. Their objectivity dissolves when the images are viewed all together. The exhibition was supplemented by a catalogue, for which Michael Schmidt has arranged the photos in a different order to take full advantage of the book format.
Curator: Markus Heinzelmann; Artist: Michael Schmidt
Leverkusen, Museum Morsbroich, 4 Mar. - 13 May 2012
Innsbruck, Galerie im Taxipalais, 15 Jun. - 26 Aug. 2012
Berlin, Martin-Gropius-Bau, 12 Jan. - 1 Apr. 2013