Räume–Fotografische Dekonstruktionen

edgar lissel

Pinhole photographs, unique pieces, black and white fiber paper, height 127 cm, width variable

Germany (Hamburg, Bremen, Frankfurt, Berlin) 1996–1997


For this project I decided to use rooms containing all the private objects of everyday life as a huge camera obscura into which one could actually enter. The room is made dark and outside light penetrates a tiny hole in the window and on to the photographic material that is going to be exposed situated opposite. Furniture stops the entering light from leaving white shadows in the photographic image from outside the room. Like abstract sculptures these white shadows break into the photographic image and create a new artificial spatiality. The pinhole-technique reverses the picture coming from outside the room, whereas the white shadows are exposed directly and not reversed. This method combines two different techniques of exposure at the same time: simultaneously the photogram and the photographic image of the camera obscura follow their physical rules. Using the basic means of photography an unknown reality is created. Visual irritations reveal contrasting information. (Edgar Lissel)


Edgar Lissel, born in 1965 in Germany, lives in Vienna.



Edgar Lissel, Vom Werden und Vergehen der Bilder (Vienna: Schlebrügge Editor, 2009).

Edgar Lissel, “The Return of Images. Photographic Inquiries into the Interaction of Light,” Leonardo 41, 5 (2008), pp. 438–445.

Edgar Lissel, “Edgar Lissel,” in inside//outside – Innenraum und Ausblick in der zeitgenössischen deutschen Fotografie, eds. Walter Smerling and Simone Förster (Cologne: Wienand Verlag, 2008), p. 12 and pp. 60–63.

Margit Zuckriegl, “Edgar Lissel,” in kamera los – das fotogramm, eds. Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Toni Stooss (Salzburg and Munich: Verlag Anton Pustet, 2006), pp. 50–51.

Wolfgang Vomm, “The Pinhole in the World,” in Picture Rooms. Edgar Lissel Räume/Rooms 1996–2000Eikon. International Magazine for Photography and Media Art, Sonderdruck no. 5 (2000).

Edgar Lissel, “Edgar Lissel,” in Tomorrow For Ever, eds. Carl Aigner, Hubertus von Amelunxen and Walter Smerling (Cologne: DuMont, 1999), p. 19 and pp. 120–123.

Claudia Gabriele Philipp, “Plato’s Cave,” European Photography, no. 63 (1998).

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