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Chronorama – Robert Bodnar


Curated by Julia Hartmann

Time has multiple manifestations.

In CHRONORAMA the artist Robert Bodnar will showcase a spectrum of time in his experimental photographic works for the first time outside Austria. In the solo-exhibition at ReTramp the so-called “Time Scans” show Bodnar’s attempt of capturing the passing of hours and days into one single frame.

In his art practice – intrigued by Muybridge’s chronomatographies and Michael Wesely’s “Time Works” – Robert Bodnar is demonstrating that artistic photography is more than finding the decisive moment. He has perfected a customizable virtual camera and a software with which he is able to combine long exposure, multiple exposure and the idea of slit scan in a new way. By means of these photographic techniques thousands of images are compressed onto one single image, providing an index of time.

Hence, Robert Bodnar’s “Time Scans” can be taken literally. The course of time gets scanned, each minute illustrated through one stripe, row by row on photographic paper. Robert Bodnar thus makes possible what the naked eye cannot – being able to freeze the chronological succession of events taking place on lively places, to juxtapose thousands of moments and movements and to linearly read past, present and future. His ambition is the investigation of the (subjective) human and the (seemingly) objective machine-made perception of reality.

Robert Bodnar’s art is further underpinned by research, theoretical considerations, experimental approaches, conceptual ideas, film, architecture, metaphysics, media theory, pataphysics, science and intra-personal issues. He is aiming at unlocking the possibilities of photography by researching into its techniques and the camera as a machine itself.

The exhibition presents two of Bodnar’s “Time Scans”. “Niesen (B)” (2011) shot in 2001 frames on a mild autumn day in Switzerland, depicting the course of time during 20:46 and 18:59 the next day. The triptych “Electronic Music Festival” (2013) was especially produced for CHRONORAMA. In the photograph, Bodnar captured the entire electronic festival Urban Art Forms in Austria in 2011, in which he is archiving the procedures before, during and after the events were taking place. In about 8000 frames he is showing a timespan starting from the 14th of June at 23:09 and finishing on the 20th of June at 22:46.

CHRONORAMA is also Bodnar’s first attempt of visualizing his photographic practices through installation-based works. In “Latent Pictures” (2013) and “Two Slits” (2013) he exemplifies the scanning of time in the gallery space.

The show is rounded off with the video installation “Diverse Timezooms” (2013), in which Bodnar shows the complexity of the “Time Scans” by dissolving the photograph into its single frames.

Robert Bodnar (*1980 Prague, CZ)

Lives and works in Vienna (Austria). In 2011 he graduated in Photography from the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna under Matthias Herrmann, Eva Schlegel, and Harun Farocki. In 2006 he won the “Baume & Mercier” Time Award.

















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