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Photo Concepts, since 1982

Since 1982, Ottmar Hörl has developed photo concepts entitled "Landscape for Sprinters". To realise these concepts, he equips cameras with motor drives and switches.

This enables these cameras to automatically take 3.5 photos per second in situations that are beyond human control. For his work "The Large Vertical", a camera was thrown from the roof of a 160-metre-high building in downtown Frankfurt. The camera was taking pictures from the time it was thrown until it hit the ground. For his work "The Large Diagonal or Homage à Beckmann", a hammer thrower hurled the camera from the centre of the Eiserner Steg bridge diagonally towards downtown Frankfurt, and it was taking pictures until it disappeared into the River Main. Other photo series entitled "Horizontal Rotation", "Duel in the Municipal Forest", "Sightseeing", or "Falzarego" developed during which additional options of automated picture taking were tested, such as attaching the camera to a rim of a car tyre, a gun shot at the lens of an automatically triggered camera, throwing cameras from planes or from a cable railway. The photo series "Landscape for Sprinters" are extreme examples of artistic expression that should be classified in an area between landscape painting and sculpture. In contrast to traditional landscape painting, Hörl makes use of unfamiliar means. He totally refrains from using an individual artistic signature and the corresponding material (paint and brush) or traditional methods of photography. Because it is not the eye of the photographer capturing the landscape through the lens but the camera independently picking up snippets of landscape.


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