Anne Müchler & Nico Schmitz
In their series Encounter, German photographers Anne Müchler and Nico Schmitz conduct visual research on how a myth develops with and through the medium of photography. They question the way in which images show or express the changeability and the fragility of myths and how images serve as a proof of the myths’ existence. Starting point for their research is the village of Bugarach and the mountain Pic de Bugarach in the south of France. New Age followers believed the mountain had mystical powers, leading to the myth that the village would be spared in the 2012 apocalypse.
Encounter comprises both photographs of the village and the mountain itself, as well as photographs of photographs of the village and the mountain. These are black and white images of specific sites of Bugarach in combination with images of spatially shaped objects formed out of the black and white images, which are almost like abstract sculptures. Müchler and Schmitz are thus treating the concept of the image as both a representation as well as a material object. In the accompanying book of the project the photographers’ images are incorporated within a context of images of film stills and literature on the village and the mountain, adding yet another level to their research. Using the very medium of photography itself, Müchler and Schmitz reflect on the way in which the myth of the village is constructed through and affected by images in different media such as photography, film and literature. Encounter becomes a presentation of both a cultural and spiritual concept of place as well as a reflection on the medium of photography.
Anne Müchler (1983, DE) and Nico Schmitz (1981, DE) both graduated from University of Applied Sciences and Arts Dortmund, DE, in 2013 and live and work in Düsseldorf, DE.