Gregor Stephan

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VIDEO: Gregor Stephan talks about his intentional over-exposure of film.

VIDEO: Gregor Stephan talks about his intentional over-exposure of film.

VIDEO: Gregor Stephan talks about his intentional over-exposure of film.

Photography is often understood as a truthful record; the verification of what has happened and what is real. Trained in the school of documentary photography, Gregor Stephan understands well the association photography has with depicting the real world but in his work he seeks to move beyond a literal representation, wanting instead to hint at a landscape that we can recognise while simultaneously making images that are clearly interpretations of what he sees through the lens.

Since studying for his MA in Photography and Urban Cultures at Goldsmiths University in 2005, Gregor has experimented with photographic techniques and the effect time, through the use of long exposures, has on making images. Beginning with his night time projects, "Infinity" and "Beautiful Field", Gregor then began to use the same long exposure technique during the day time in the projects: "Five Second Cityscapes" and "The Icebergs". By pushing film to its limit through deliberate and excessive over-exposure, Gregor then used a film scanner to extract the image that remained in the nearly opaque negative and so produced these altered and almost ghost-like pictures.

Although interested in the photographic process, Gregor's purpose is to produce "in-between" images. Showing something of what can be seen to exist in the physical world, characterised by architecture, cars and people but that is also a mental construction founded in imagination and memories. In short Gregor is seeking a way to free photography from the usual contexts of documentary reality.

Gregor's work "The Icebergs" has been selected for the German Pavilion 2010 in Shanghai having been previously exhibited at the Fotonoviembre, Atlanticas Colectivas, Tenerife, 2009 and the Gallery Hunchentoot, Berlin. Other solo shows include "Five Seconds Cityscapes" at the Month of Photography, Gallery Hunchentoot, Berlin, 2008 and "Changing Spaces" at Photofusion, London, 2008.

A visiting lecturer at Goldsmith University from 2007 to 2009, Gregor is now resident in Berlin.

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