Menacing, gloomy, bizarre – in his photo series Schwarzfall, Pascal Reif draws an unreal, abstract picture of an industrial setting. The ubiquitous element is black, the dissolving, darkness as a place of genesis and destruction. Everything disappears into black. Everything arises from the black.
Schwarzfall is a radical yet poetic look at the inner workings of power plants that generate electricity by burning biomass or waste. Places that often remain hidden from the broader public awareness, despite the fact that this infrastructure is a fundamental element of our ubiquitous, electrified lifestyle. Reif reflects this discrepancy in attention and makes that otherwise closed place visible.
The term blackout refers to a power failure in which the network collapsed across the board. The simulation of the standstill is used in the power plant to enable maintenance work.
The photo series was taken between 2018 and 2022. During this time, Reif himself was part of a team that carries out such maintenance work. This closeness to the workers gave him an unobstructed view of this high-risk work environment, filled with booming noise, toxic fumes, heat and dust. The latter in particular had a direct influence on the production of the photo series: dust and sand burned into many of the negatives. The dust inherent in every black of this place becomes a central element of the photo series. An artistic examination of a place that is characterized by its rough, sometimes misanthropic nature, but in which Reif repeatedly captures mystical, stylized moments of silence.
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PiB Guide Nº50
Discover great photography exhibitions/events in Berlin in PiB’s bi-monthly print issue, the PiB Guide. The PiB Guide Nº50 SEP/OCT 2023 has been published as a booklet, A6 format · 28 pages · English & German · worldwide shipping.
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