dirk königsfeld


Luminscent Spaces

In Dirk Königsfeld's photographs, locations become luminscent spaces. His subjects: everyday external spaces such as houses, modern office buildings, industrial facillties, garages or street scenes photographed in darkness using available light.

At times, it is hard to believe that the artist merely came across these nocturnal scenarios, given their seemingly perfect lighting. The artificial brightness creates a strange, almost unreal mood. Locations are stripped of their ordinary nature, and instead somehow seem exemplary specimens placed on show; despite their documentary character, they nonetheless seem strangely alienated and arranged. The cool rationalism of the buildings and absence of people makes the subjects resemble frozen, lifeless stage sets. An image of reality is produced using photographic techniques which make everything natural appear artificial. Simultaneously, the light and color schemes transform these urban landscapes into atmospherically‑charged spaces which morph into projections. As in a movie, we find ourselves confronted by locations, striking sets which almost inevitably trigger narratives.

The tension of the compositions is produced above all by the interaction of various light settings, be it in the form of outside lighting from street lights or driveways, or interior illumination shining in from the corridor or through windows. The light accentuates and modulates the subjects, alters real color values and produces new ones. But lt is the existing sources of light that determine what is seen ‑ and above all how. Even though the former are not immediately visible in the photographs, they ‑ and their location ‑ can be perceived via reflections and the behavior of shadows. Everything which falls beyond the reach of these light sources is banished into darkness. Like immaterial walls, the light zones bracket things, add a new dimension to the existing space and re‑form it. At the same time, in keeping with the laws of two‑dimensionality, the photographic area becomes divided into lines, surfaces, structures and colors. Depending on the section, perspective and lighting the subjects alternate between space and surface, from a seemingly real portrayal to a formal arrangement. The photographs of Dirk Königsfeld are located in this very tension between factual documentation and artificial, almost stage‑like appearance.

Maria Anna Tappeiner