Left behind, ... missing pictures

Gamaliel R. Herrera


(in English)

Left Behind, ...Missing Pictures is an ongoing body of work consisting of a series of site specific projects dealing with art methodology, notions of traditional portrait photography, documentation, archival, performance, surveillance and installation.

Large format Polaroid portraits of a multitude of anonymous passer-by sitters de-familiarize a fine art tradition. The pictures are photo-documented and archived during a performance that has occured in various locations around the globe, including Andorra, Palermo, Vilnius, Kaliningrad, Boston, Cairo, Paris, Basel, Beijing and New York. The original photos are geographically displaced and left behind in public off- space installations that are surveilled, then taken away by the urban elements. Only a few pictures have made it back. A total of 405, 399 pictures are missing.

In a world flooded with images, what defines a photograph as a work of art? Is it the original? Is it its placement or provenance? Engaging us with a deep poetic of loss, Juergen Staack reveals an unassuming probe into ontological questions at a time of panic of production and accumulation.