On Isabel Reitemeyer


The key to Reitemeyer’s work may lie in the fact she used to work in the movie industry…there is a gorgeous sense of intrigue in the use of space that only comes from an over-exposure to images and film sets.

There is (I will probably argue in a later post) an intrinsic difference between photography and moving image. One is founded in the documentary, in mug shots and archives; the other found its niche in light boxes and side shows. The movies are arenas of entertainment where all things unreal happen – we pay to be scared and deceived, to loose ourselves and be surrounded by fantasy.

What Reitemeyer has done is beautifully reconcile the two. With a sense of the documentary being combined with surreal quirks you get an old-souled pang of nostalgia and a childish sense of amazement. They are at one and the same time completely of their time – collage is a huge trend at the moment – using found imagery from glossy mags but the works offer you portholes into the past with snippets of lives of real characters. Reitemeyer’s early work was made up of family photographs she found in her loft. In a sense they have the same impact as Richter’s Atlas does after a few viewings: detachment from people you don’t know while understanding they mean something to somebody with, as with all photographic forms of nostalgia, an undercurrent of social conscious.



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