The Go-Between - Double 2014
„At first glance I always think, that this is me on these pictures...but I know, that I am prettier.
Yes, I created this persona, but I know that I am entirely different to her.“
With the third part of her body of work Star Shots, Kathrin Guenter exposes yet another layer of the phenomenon of paparrazzi and celebrity photography: The Double.
Following an intensive research and experimentation within the field of paparazzi photography on the one hand, and psychic,- or spirit photography on the other, Star Shots III reveals the subtle connection of the two phenomena. In "The Go-Between", the "double" or "doppelganger" as the "aetheric counterpart of the physical body" takes the role of the very mask which in Star Shots II (2008), gives way under the constant pressure of observation and self staging. Now this mask "wanders about" as a ghostly shell, as the discarnate double or spirit, detached and free from its original physical body.
Following in the footsteps of infamous spirit photographers of the 19/20th century like a William H. Mumler or a Frederick Hudson, who exposed hundreds of alleged "extras" or "ghosts" in their professional photo studios, the artist exposes the "double" or "doppelganger" of certain living and especially mediumistic or rather mask-like female celebrities in her darkroom on light sensitive paper.
Within spirit photography, these "extras" or "ghosts" manifested themselves exclusively through imagery that had been taken during their earthly lifetime. Never where they "caught" on paper as their "spirit" self. The earthly, original photograph served and serves as a Go-Between, as a medium of visual manifestation for the spirit or double to make itselves recogniseable for the living. A very similar practise that nowadays celebrities and their respective media (or vice versa) use to create an image (a mask) of their persona for the longing, hungry public eye. While the image is out there, printed over and over again, just like the portraits in the spirit photograph, the real person (the ghost) hides behind it, never to be seen.
Double, etheric counterpart of the physical body which, when out of coincidence, may temporarily move about in space in comparative freedom and appear in various degrees of density to others. The belief in the existence of the double, or astral body, is age old, its acceptance as a working hypothesis solves many a puzzling problem in psychical research. (Nandor Fodor, Encyclopedia of Psychic Science, 1966)
Direct prints on Aludibond
Edition of 3 plus 2 AE
Installation view, PAPARAZZI! Centre Pompidou-Metz 2014