Conceptual fine art photography
November 18, 2022 by Jans Bock-Schroeder
Expressing concepts through photography
Conceptual art was established in the 1960s to create art that is free of artwork. In a broader trend of artistic self-exploration, the point had been reached where the material object itself had become questionable in its function. The soberest and most practical of all media, photography, is perfectly suited for this purpose.
Jans Bock-Schroeder refers to his father's photographs by altering the originals. By re-photographing existing images in a redesigned mode, he deliberately adopts and copies stylistic elements and makes them his own in a revamped visual process.
Reproducing a work of art
During a meeting with legendary French photo dealer and expert Serge Plantureux in October 2011, held in his atelier premises at the Galerie Vivienne in Paris, Jans Bock-Schroeder was presented with a proposal.
Plantureux, who had learned about the project by visual artists Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince, in which Prince and Sherman portrayed each other, encouraged Bock-Schroeder to re-photograph his father's pictures.
Provided the pictures turned out to be good, he would display them at his exhibition stand during the forthcoming Paris Photo Fair at the Grand Palais in Paris.
Equipped with his father's Leica, the same camera that was used to take the original photographs, and a selection of vintage prints from the 1950s, Jans Bock-Schroeder set out on a tour of Paris.
Searching for locations that would allow him to re-photograph the images in a setting reflecting the composition, subject matter, and atmosphere of the original, he discovered a scrapped television set on a walkway.
He attached the black and white print of St. Basil's Cathedral, which his father had photographed in 1956, onto the television screen.
To take the picture from a perfect angle, he had to kneel down on the busy road.
The process of recapturing his father's image proved to be an extraordinary experience, giving an impression of time travel and creating a profound sense of connection with his late father.
At the same time, he had to be concise to avoid being run over by the passing cars.
Paris Photo Fair Edition 2011
The transformed works were presented to a wide audience for the first time at the 2011 edition of the Paris Photo Fair at the Grand Palais by Serge Plantureux.
A total of 33 images were created during the first round, which are grouped collectively under the brand name Bock Schroeder by Bock Schroeder.
The requirements for photography and for re-creation are the same: to get the best out of the scene.
Jans Bock-Schroeder performs interpretations of his father's original photographs while transforming them.
Re-photographed image from the Cold War era, shows a mother with her three children posing for a snapshot in front of a Moscow landmark, mounted on an otherwise bare wall under the word "Reproduction" stamped in black paint by a street graffiti artist.
He deliberately picks up stylistic elements and transcribes them to form his own pictorial system in a restructured visual process.
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