Matthias Langer – Lightlines Viewing Room on Artsy

January, 25 – February, 27 2022
Matthias Langer – Lightlines
Viewing Room on Artsy


The objects pictured here seem to be simply two burning candles in a candlestick. But the candles were the only source of light in the room when the picture was taken. They are light source and motif in one.


Therefore, the objects depicted here are not just two burning candles in a candlestick, the photograph shows the candles over the period of their entire burning time. The photographed candles have just been lit, half burnt and extinguished at the same time. The inside, the wicks, have been turned outwards as a trace of light. The flames become a line. Light and time have inscribed themselves in the picture.


“In Matthias Langer’s works, time itself is the subject of investigation. His shots are free of digital technology, although the aesthetic result is deceptively reminiscent of Photoshop overlays. His practice is completely analogue in which the exposure time constructs the image. Emblematic in this sense is the work “Untitled – 18h” in which a candle is left to burn for 18 hours in front of the camera, which, with an almost closed shutter, records the development of an event, succeeding in synthesizing and preserving, as in a magic box inside the tiny extension of a plate, the entire extension of a life, however faint and insubstantial, of a candle. In a single shot Langer has enclosed the present image of the candle and its ghost, what it no longer is.”


Roberto Mutti on the group exhibition ´PHOTOMA, Sensations from inner worlds´, Galleria Bianca Maria Rizzi & Matthias Ritter, Milan, February 2013