"Ad Rem:" Hand-Printed Multiple Exposures

"Ad Rem:" Hand-Printed Multiple Exposures

“My works aren’t pictures of something, but objects about something.” Philipp Bolthausen is an art director and designer who currently splits his time between New York and Paris. Self-taught in photography, Bolthausen rejects modern processes in favor of hands-on darkroom work. Making the purposeful choice to “use the 20th century medium of film,” Bolthausen says that by doing this he is able to “see, and therefore place the present into perspective.” His artist’s statement is clear about his loyalty to these processes, saying “anything beyond the traditional workflow of the darkroom is prohibited in his work.”

His series, “Ad Rem,” captures black and white scenes of train stations, platforms and tracks with delicate, sometimes abstract overlays of patterns and other photographs. These complex and beautiful images are the result of multiple exposures. In the darkroom, this requires both careful timing and meticulous alignment as one sheet of light-sensitive paper must be exposed to light through two (or more) different negatives. Speaking from experience, creating multiple exposure prints in the darkroom is delicate, laborious and very often frustrating work. This makes the clarity and cleanliness of Bolthausen’s 22-image series all the more impressive.


You can find more of Bolthausen’s work on his website.

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I hate to complain, but this really isn't anything spectacular. Jerry Uelsmann would have been a much better candidate for an article on this kind of stuff. A true master of this technique.

So... a sanctimonious repudiation of current imaging technology to create profoundly pedestrian work (had he been looking in the 70's he would not have started) makes this meaningful? Just what particular "issue" creates the meaning? The self conscious use of traditional materials? The fact that it is B&W for that extra bit of art house gravitas? Or the fact that layering images to create annoying composites that signify nothing but might pass for artistic ambiguity if no ironic references to a bygone day occur to the viewer?
I presume he thanked you for the promo.