Robert Schlaug

Serial Typology, in the style of Bernd & Hilla Becher, has been described as a paradox of complete boredom and visual delight. The conceptual act of assembling found anonymous objects into something greater than the sum of the parts is the underlying formula for explaining this paradox. The skillful eye of the photographer and the effort behind collecting the individual pieces in the series are often neglected by the viewer who simply enjoys the visual beauty and fascination of the resulting montage. Robert Schlaug’s contemporary interpretations of the serial typology continue the tradition of transforming the mundane and banal into something magical. These are wonderful assemblies.

Artist Statement-

My "Serial Typologies" deal with banal motifs we normally pay no attention to in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In times of total visual overload, I would like to encourage the viewers of my pictures to take their time and to have a closer look, to compare and to discover subtle differences. At the same time, by their uniformity, even conventional architecture and everyday objects reveal their own distinctive form and surprising aesthetic quality.

The award-winning serial typology "Prefab Garages" illustrates what happens when we focus our view on anonymous and faceless utilitarian architecture, which only seems to be purposeful and cost-effective and without any artistic or creative value. The three-dimensional reality of the prefab garages becomes a two-dimensional surface that blocks our view from what is behind. The entire typology becomes a composed image of lines, colors, surfaces and geometries. The banal becomes something special.

This also applies to my other typologies. The typology "SeseƱa", for example, shows nine over-sized, drab and uniform residential buildings in the southern part of Madrid in Spain, which at first glance only differ by color and environment. Other peculiarities only reveal themselves upon closer examination.

The typology "Allotment Gardens" focuses on small fenced garden plots often found on the outskirts of German cities. They are arranged in perfect alignment. Their uniformity is emphasised by the barren winter landscape. The differences between the small huts are evident only upon close inspection.

All of these serial typologies require the viewers to take a closer look, to compare, to discover the uniform and the particular. They encourage them to take a new perspective on unnoticed motifs in everyday life."

Robert Schlaug is a photographer who earns his money as a teacher. He lives near Nuremberg, Germany.

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