Roswitha Siewert (english)

Introduction to the work of Roland Fischer

Roland Fischer (born 1958, lives and works in Munich and Los Angeles), now one of the
very important artists in photography among the young generation, has become known
since 1979 by international exhibitions. The fascination of his „Faces in Silence“ his
portraits of „,Nuns and Monks“ (Paris, 1980) are unforgettable, full of that trans-realistic
calmness which Hows through all his latter works.
„,Cathedrals“ and,Knock-outs“
– contrasting expressions of extreme situations: here the
insight into the hymnally adored Gothic naves, there the decisive moment of victory or
defeat in a box match – both samples of experiences made by Roland Fischer and based
on a computer-controlled choice of technical and artistic first class photographs.
„,Cathedrals“: Layers of construction-shots with their impressive transparency of the
inside and outside of the building are reflecting even the verbal structures of Gothic theo-
logical programmes as well as art-historical questions about form and contents. The
penetration of the diaphanous structure of the walls with its lines and edges is made
obvious though „,written in stone“; iridescent colours gleaming in polychromatic variety.
.„Knock-outs“: In contrast to this Celestial Gerusalemme we see the series of Knock-outs
as an image of diabolic inferno: opalescent colour-orgies of falling fighters and victims
seem to manifest and glorify otherwise suppressed latent human aggressiveness and
brutality, stirred up emotions being canalized as compensation to sportive fairness. The
life-threatening moment, the moment between life and death, is symbolized by the concen-
trated hit of colour and form.
Anne Wauters, art historian in Brussels, laid open – in detail and sensibility – the variety
of reflections and ideas in Roland Fischer’s visual conception. We owe it to her that we can
publish (translated into German and English) her essay in this catalogue.
Photagraphy as an instrument of self-representation and as one way of recognition is
part of the exhibition programme of the Overbeck-Gesellschaft, informing about a special
differentiated visual understanding of the world. The „ Cathedrals“ of Roland Fischer with
their unusual views may be irritating for the art-fans of Lübeck not only in one regard: 1
they are living in a town built to a high degree of bricks, and 2 – with the photographs of
Castelli who with much sensibility bore witness of Lübeck’s churches.
The monumental pictures of Roland Fischer – taken and chosen for this exhibition
make visible in their optical perception and filigree transparency of the churches‘ insides
and outsides an optimum of human liberty.

Roswitha Siewert (Art Director, Overbeck-Gesellschaft), 1997

published in: Roland Fischer, Overbook Gesellschaft Lübeck, Germany