In his first solo exhibition at the gallery, Schuetz introduces his viewers to an extraordinary photo montage series that deftly combines color, light, and form, resulting in fantastic imagery that questions the presence and meaning of our environment. Schuetz considers the properties of photography as a medium to be equally as important as the subject matter at hand. Through the photographic process, Schuetz reveals the potential of manipulation and allows his audience to discover a new way of seeing.
Luminous and radiant, Schuetz’s photographs present the viewer with a glimpse into a dream-like world, a fantastic environment where color and light are the essence of being. The antique glass floaters, mouth-blown pieces created in small cottage shops in Portuguese fishing villages, seem to emit an ephemeral glow, an intangible aura infused in each composition. The translucency of the glass, combined with the contrast of light and shadow, enhance the depth of the photographs. Light, space, movement, and time mark the coordinates within his shots, capturing new variations on the subject from changing perspectives. Schuetz’s combination of geometric, structured design and free interpretation of form imbues rhythm and balance to a seemingly capricious composition.
Each unique work is the result of a meticulous creative process in which Schuetz explores the dichotomy between creation and destruction within the Constructivist aesthetic. Reminiscent of the practices of John Heartfield, Kurt Schwitters, and Hanna Hoech, Schuetz constructs his montages from the film itself, manipulating this singular material and exploiting the versatility of the medium. The construction of Schuetz’s large-scale photo montages begin on a nearly infinitesimal level. He dissects individual images from primary film shots, each measuring 9.4×7.1 inches, using surgical scalpels, tweezers, and magnifying glasses among other tools, and then extracts the fractural elements and forms essential to the picture. Based on preliminary sketches, Schuetz constructs his works by integrating each piece of slide film, working from one detail to the next over the full area of the image and then mounting the elements on a palm-sized glass plate for enlargement and printing.
By re-appropriating his primary shots, Schuetz is able to depict the glass floaters from several angles simultaneously, and through these arrangements, the compositions are given an intellectual framework from which new, sculptural spaces are born. By re-contextualizing these images, Schuetz constructs a new environment, and in doing so, calls into question the way in which we perceive our surroundings.