Natalie Czech (b. 1976)

If You Can Do It, Why Do It, A Found Quote of Gertrude Stein (2011)

The photographic works of Natalie Czech (b. 1976, lives in Berlin) oscillate between concrete poetry and conceptual photography. She highlights the relationships and interactions between images and texts, poetry and the visual arts whilst also exploring the lyrical potential that lays hidden in newspaper articles and books. For her new series “Poems by Repetition,” she singled out existing poems by Aram Saroyan, Hart Crane, Allen Ginsberg, Gertrude Stein and others, which are characterized by the rhetorical device of repetition. These poems only become completely visible and readable in the repeated depiction of the same photographed text material and its serialization as a group. Czech’s visual motifs draw on different media, such as magazines, record covers, books, iPads and Kindle readers. Her painstakingly researched and selected textual fragments (a film review, a set of dance instructions, an essay on the significance of record-cover design for the marketing of music, for example) make reference to both the poem in question and to music. Repeatedly photographing the same texts produces stylistic variations such as minimal shifts in frame and perspective, altered exposure times and the juxtaposition of different resolutions. The photographs are also taken at various times of day, using similar techniques of repetition to those adopted by the writer of the respective poem. The works portray an “allegory of writing” through the complex interaction of meaning, repetition and variation.