Nie ist die Nacht so dunkel wie in der Kindheit
“Black and white is not colorless. It is the medium of light, not a reduction but rather a concentration on essentials,” explains Peter Stamm in his essay in Nie ist die Nacht so dunkel wie in der Kindheit (The night is never as dark as it is in childhood). As in Marcel Gähler’s first art book, Bleistift auf Papier, in which he worked with pictures of unspectacular places, usually depicted at night, here he also works with small-format black-and-white photographs that he has copied in their original size. But now the illustrative process has become a notch more complex. Gähler makes a photograph, which he then projects onto a sheet that he fixes to the wall. He photographs this dispositive together with the surrounding area and ultimately uses this image as the basis for his spectacular, obsessively meticulous, penciled miniatures. The highly personal subjects of the original photographs – scenes of family life, children in intimate interiors, sleeping or playing, at an evening celebration, on a field, at the beach – acquire a certain remoteness. Yet at the same time they are dramatized by the slightly romanticized hazy pencil-gray distant memory and – as a projection screen, literally – become loaded with magic.