Philipp Engelhardt

Karlsruhe, Interactive Installation, D 2010

At Hildapromenade 4 in Karlsruhe I found an old blue photo album in the bulky refuse. I started skipping through it and it sparked an interest. In the album were no references regarding time, names or text elements. But the photos which were quite uncharitably glued into the album were somehow telling a story. The story was nothing fancy, it seemed to be about a middle-class woman in the 1960’s who was celebrating her retirement at the office she was working for.
The book, which I believe was a present of her colleagues, was half filled with photos of her retirement party. Afterwards she or her husband completed the rest of the album with their private photos. It is a mixture of some older black and white and some newer photos showing their so called evening of life. In a curious way it made the memories to my grandparents, who died when I was a kid, somehow exchangeable. The real and the fictitious ideas were almost equal. In my imagination I saw the woman, sitting in front of here desk slightly moving around, posing, smiling into the camera and talking to the photographer.

I wanted to revitalize the photos and rebuild the memories in a way of moving pictures. To illustrate this I used a 3D application to reconstruct the woman in 3D space. For me it was not the most important point to perfectly rebuild the character in 3D or make the movements 100 percent anatomically correct, the reconstruction was more like a fragmental memory.
I found a double page in the book which is telling a consistent story.
It shows eight middle format 6x6 photos, which were shoot in the garden around the house.
I started to arrange the photos in a chronological way to make sure the animated woman can move logically connected from one photo to the other. The order I chose is a self-contained loop in which the woman is walking through every photo at least once. In each specific photo the 3D animated woman is adopting the pose of the woman on the original photo for a few seconds before moving to the next scene. However for the video I only used the background and removed the woman out of the scenery. In this way I created an empty stage for the animated 3D model. In the end the video is projected over the original photos.

Philipp Engelhardt, *1978, studies at Staatliche Hochschule fur Gestaltung Karlsruhe, Germany