One of the characteristic features of photography is the simultaneity of closeness and distance. Spatial and temporal distances are effortlessly overcome and transform viewers into eye-witnesses. However, photography also distances the viewer from that which is represented. Sensual impressions, apart from that of seeing, remain untouched and all that is ever perceived is a rectangular section…. In a world in which seeing is tantamount to believing, this can turn out to be a deceptive path.
In her countless series, Lilly Lulay uses found photographic material that often stems from a private sphere. And this material comprises photographs that are generally considered insignificant and irrelevant for a broader context. Far removed from a private reality, these snapshots are synonymous with the stereotypes and peculiarities of a past photographic epoch. In her works, Lulay not only explores the question of what is being reproduced: she frequently also enquires into the mechanisms that have resulted in specific camera shots.
In her first exhibition at Kuckei + Kuckei, she is presenting various series which pursue different approaches and, at the same time, still always display common features. By emphasizing the clip-like aspects, she challenges photography’s alleged faithfulness to reality. Hence, through the act of collaging, the physical presence of the substrate is emphasized and the visual surface of photographs expanded. Through her manual interventions, the focus on the object displayed changes. And with the aid of composition, trope-l’oeil effects are introduced and sight axes extended.
In addition, Lilly Lulay repeatedly raises the not only question of the use of photography in both the public and the private spheres, but also that of the changes which have occurred in the course of time. The installation An und Aussichtspunkte (Viewpoints and Vantage Points) and the series Construction d’images (Construction of Images) are the focal point of her exhibition and the latest product of her debate with this theme. Both works are based on visual material from the ‘Sixties and ‘Seventies, and both analyze the structure of the visual spaces and worlds opened up by photography. Furthermore, these two works occupy themselves in a dual sense with architecture: they do so not only at the level of the visual surface with its illustrations of public space and its private living environments, but also at that of photographic construction principles. In this way, the subjects, the standpoints of the photographer, the materiality of the developed images and the contexts are analyzed and, ultimately, manipulated.