This is Part 1 of 13. In this series, each post will focus on one of the artists being shown during Migration: A Gallery’s Photography Invitational, We All Live in Bordertowns. The exhibit opens November 16 and runs through the end of December.
Joachim Knill's most recent work consists of 20"x30" Polaroid photographs which he creates with the world's largest portable instant film camera designed and built by himself. The one of a kind photographs depict surreal landscapes and installations which he builds in his studio. He uses mostly natural objects such as fruits, flowers, vegetables, seedpods, sticks and stones, or dilapidated building parts, all collected either on his travels or around Hannibal, Missouri where he currently resides. These objects are built up as a real life installation which he then captures in a single long exposure with light painting techniques. The lighting turns these scenes into otherworldly realities resembling movie stills that capture one’s imagination as to what the storyline might be. By using this large format, the high resolution renders such fine detail that they appear real.
Joachim’s work melts us every time we hang it. And having the opportunity to show it off and watch people’s reactions is a true privilege. No one is left untouched by his photos. Many marvel at the technique, but we argue that it is the artistry that steps furthest forward. In other words, the first thought should not be "How did he do that?" rather, it should be "Look at what he did."
In a word, Joachim’s photos are "Important" (with a capital "I"). His imagination and concepts are obviously off the charts, the images are beautiful, his craftsmanship is unmatched and, simply put, no one else is doing this style of work. His large format Polaroids stand apart from any photographic artwork out there.
A sampling of reviews from previous showings of Joachim’s photos at Migration include:
"Knill’s long exposure Polaroid shots, snapped with the world’s largest instant development camera, practically dripped from the walls of Migration in January; junkyard collages against volcanic backgrounds seemed to rustle and erupt as colors bled together during the exposure process." ~C-Ville Weekly (www.c-ville.com)
"When contemplating how to describe the imagination of photographer Joachim Knill… all the clichéd adjectives – ‘fertile,’ ‘active,’ ‘juicy,’ ‘boundless’ – seem way too puny. Which makes sense when you consider that even the largest industrial Polaroid camera wasn’t large enough to capture Knill’s visions. He had to build his own.
"Say ‘Polaroid’ and most people envision waving a hand-sized snapshot in the air, drying it as the image emerges… But what Knill’s 20x30 single-exposure photographs have in common with those pics is what the Grand Canyon shares with a creek bed – i.e. they’re technically created the same way, but the former is, how shall we say, considerably more eye-popping." ~Laura Parsons, The Hook (www.readthehook.com)
"Migration from Charlottesville seemed to be doing well at the fair, and had several huge Polaroids by Swiss installation-photographer-wizard Joachim Knill which were some of my favorites in the whole fair." ~F. Lennox Campello blogging about ArtDC (http://dcartnews.blogspot.com/)
See more of Joachim’s work at: http://www.migrationgallery.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=25&g2_page=1