© 2017, Peter Baracchi

Maximale Realität, 2009-2010

New York, Dubai or Sydney – skylines of metropolitan cities from all over the world are a common subject for photo-calendars, postcards or just personal touristic souvenir photo- graphs. Through the tremendous amount of captured photos, the cityscape with view from the sea has become a meaningless and exchangeable content. Peter Baracchi (*1982, Zurich) created his series “Maximale Realität (maximised reality)” to bring such exemplary images into consciousness of society.
The artist has collected houndreds or maybe thousands of touristic amateur photographs from all over the world on the internet. Several dozen of these shots with a similar subject, but from very different places of the world, are being combined into one new image. What emerges from the masses of photographs is a placeless average image that reflects a palm beach, a sunset or a mountain landscape. Slight differences in perspective ensure that the contours of the individual images begin to dissolve through the process of multiple exposure. While similarities are being emphasized, depth of field and contrast are being reduced and details disappear. What remains is a diffuse color gradient. But the remaining colors are sufficient to recognize pictures that are present in our collective memory. If seen from distance, the striking subjects are still recognizable and able to trigger associations in the viewers mind. Up close, the colored fog proves to be extremely complex and surprising details can be discovered. Peter Baracchi has found an artistic process to show common touristic photographs in a totally new way which allows faszinating visual experiences.
Precision distinguished his works as well as the reflection of certain conditions in the everyday use of images. The works are an expression of a society in which traveling and permanent documentation have become commonplace means of photography. On the internet, these “phenomena” are accessible to everyone at any time - but only through the mind and the hands of the artist, they are being rematerialized. This transfer is aesthetically upgrading our holiday souvenir photographs from commodity to a piece of art.
The technique of multiple exposure is well know from analogue photography. Peter Baracchi is simply transferring it into the age of digital media. In numerous popular images, spread all over the internet, he finds similarities, peels out the essence and thereby brings to light cultural codes and habits. A variety of data compressed into a single picture is now only available to a selected group of art viewers. Created and shared in the network, touristic photographs occur as a phenomenon of mass. Thinking about time typical relationships within our modern society, however takes place in exclusivity.

Text: Sonja Gasser