The book E.M.T. in MSP, recently published by German-Swiss Edition Taube, extends a project first exhibited at Gallery Crone in Berlin in 2007 and begins with photographs that set the scene in a filmic way. Entrance to the Town, 1995 and Village are the first photographs encountered, closely followed by Eva, Turquoise Swimsuit, Yellow Bracelet, 1996. In the image of Eva, a young girl is poised on the edge a metal girder above water, her sandals placed to one side and her bare feet a slight blur. Here is the literal jumping off point into this absorbing, intimate and at times problematic set of places and people shot by German photographer Heinz Peter Knes. The next photograph, The first sewage plant – opened in 1987 pans out from Eva’s finely balanced teetering, giving clear indication that this is no idyll but a much more complex concern.
The odd title E.M.T. in MSP pinpoints, albeit in coded form, the most significant parts of the project. E.M.T. are Eva, Mirjam and Thomas, three of Knes’ siblings, while MSP refers to Main-Spessart in Lower Franconia, Bavaria. The landscapes and interiors depicted bear almost as much weight as the portraits here; they are tethered to each other. In the photographs that unfold we find multiple narratives: from childhood play to adolescent experimentation and bare-chested self-expression; piles of sawn tree trunks ready for milling; swim meets, social gatherings, make-shift hideaways, overturned chairs, abandoned cars and domestic environments …
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E.M.T. in MSP is published by Edition Taube. Review commissioned and published by Photomonitor, May, 2022.