At first glance, it is the hustle and bustle of the big city captured at a seemingly random moment. Seen from a bird’s-eye view, pedestrians scurry to and fro, loiter, and interact with each other. Upon closer inspection, the different sequences become interwoven, and some of the figures appear in more than one place simultaneously. They have merely changed their pose or their contour within the strictly lined grid, crumbling the illusion of reality. Where does real life end and fiction begin?
The longer you look at Michael Michlmayr’s Escalator and Pedestrian series, the more complex their composite time-space continuum becomes. Michlmayr layers individual images on top of each other, putting people into multiple roles, which creates the action in the scene. The people move through different temporal and spatial dimensions without traveling in any particular direction. In their uniform clothing, they become interchangeable, and questions of individuality inevitably arise.
The artist lets reality and fiction coexist in urban anonymity. At the same time, he ignores linear chronology and multiples the space to create one unified and harmonic work. Michlmayr takes it one step further, questioning the reproductive function of photography – visual indicators of their position in the time-space continuum no longer exist.
Michael Michlmayr studied in Paris, London, and Rome, and he has shown his work in international exhibitions including the European Photography Art Fair in Brussels and the photography biennial Fotonoviembre in Tenerife. Michlmayr lives as a freelance photographer in Vienna.