Maria Sturm

Perception Systems
Biography: MariaSturm was born in 1985 in Ploiesti, Romania and moved to Germany in1991. She received her Diploma in Photography and Media from theUniversity of Applied Sciences Bielefeld in 2012. Maria won theNew York Photo Award (category ‚ÄúStudent... read on
Public Story
Perception Systems
Credits: maria sturm
Updated: 01/24/13


Perception Systems

text: barbara proschak, translation: victor pambuccian


on my first viewing, i'm confused and cannot properly place them in a temporal or material way. i look into the faces of young men and women who are covered up in many ways. a piece of time and identity is obscured by the material. swings, creases, new hairstyles seem to be formed. the figures get detached from their background, come up to me, and as they do so i am attempting to establish a connection. my thoughts attempt to achieve some kind of satisfaction by assigning the pictures to some historical age, then turn to the depicted other. the search in the past is unsuccessful, so perhaps it would be wiserto think of our own times with its own forms. but somehow i land with my thoughts in painting, think of pigments that are mixed, body measurements, which, inspired by forms from geometry, are brought into a system of order on screen. yet these are no painted images, but photographs. so what do i have here in front of me? scraps from different periods, disciplines, and ideas?

the youth of beauty, or rather the beauty of youth, is to be presented in both a time and a pictorial coordinate? time and appearance is to be fixed regardless of historical era. yet it is more than just a record one is holding on to. these men and women are intentionally positioned with a perception system in mind. perhaps "perception system"is a bit pretentious, but i do recognize in my perception a system. the frame of the picture is at the same time a framework in our viewing experience. relations between lines, angles and empty spaces appear, and these are in turn related no less to fabrics and colors than to backgrounds. so everything is somehow in relationship with each other. just as we scan and touch images according to a system as a viewer, so the author of these photographs herself approaches the patterns with her own system. i see it as a search, or more like a question, the question regarding the gaze. what am i searching for when i look and do i actually search for something? is it beauty, youth, attractiveness? or do we want to follow some pre-established pattern of our vision, looking for some geometry, order and for the arrangement of planes? planes of a spiritual and material dimension? does a bedsheet wrapped around the head of a young woman form a new level of perception? it does not matter whether it is a bedsheet and whether we feel comfortable with the way it looks. the fabric takes on a new task, the system undergoes a change and, yes, we can be stepping into new levels of perception. time itself appears to shift inside the system. i am no longer looking for the past, i am returning to myself at this moment of my time, the moment i look at the pictures. i find myself related to space, time, and to my own way of seeing, much like these men and women on the photograph's paper. nevertheless, we seem to be less related to each other, for they are self-sufficient and at peace with themselves and let us go on our journey of discovery, to look, ask, and search for unknown quantities. the two of us live in quite different realms.


various sizes, largest pictures 75 x 56,2 cm, smallest pictures 37,7 x 50,3 cm.




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