»Robert Staudinger’s faces of the serial “Maybe” are studies in movement. The quantity of all the moments of a gesture reduced to a single image condenses the entire dramatization of the moving, changing, facial expression, intensifying to a climax.
Once again, Robert Staudinger directs our gaze to details which are overlaid one over another, become blurred, and in places break through in piercing sharpness. It is a symphony of facial topologies which flow into one another, eloquently articulate, which melt to become an amorphous, absurdly surreal, harmonious portrayal.«
ZS ART GALERIE,
Views of a Clown
»The clown does not just stand for amusement, he is also a reflection of the powerlessness of the individual with whom we prefer not to identify ourselves. Robert Staudinger’s clowns – who are stigmatised as such through the red spot on their noses, in the middle of their faces – are motion studies, views of a clown. The sum of all a gesture’s moments are reduced to a single image, reflecting the entire dramaturgy of the moving, changing facial expression building up to its climax. Staudinger draws our attention to details which overlap, blur and at some points – like an antithesis
– shine through in crystal-clear focus. It is a symphony of merging, eloquently articulating facial topologies which achieve the profundity of an amorphous, absurdly surreal painting.«
Guido Zehetbauer Salzer
The evil behind the red nose
» Coulrophobes definitely have nothing to laugh about here. Then again, they don’t find clowns funny in general. Instead, they’re something to be afraid of. (Just as gelotophobes have a pathological fear of being laughed at themselves. Which is the reason why they, in turn, would certainly be completely unsuited for the vocation of the funny man.)
Not that Robert Staudinger’s very minimalistic clowns (recognisable as such only through their red noses) are making funny faces at all. They don’t even say “Cheeeeese”. In spite of the little balls in fire-engine red in the middle of their faces, which they use to literally make fools of themselves – that is, in spite of their stigma, their identification as the “clumsy Auguste” – they are anything but funny. Behind their clown noses they even become properly evil, going completely crazy, making wild faces without any thick, mask-like make-up to check their facial expressions. Thanks to the lengthy exposure times, every movement is recorded (every twitch of a muscle breaking out of the peaceful moment), and the facial expressions are superimposed into a dreadful scowl emerging out of the darkness like a ghost. In these action-packed portraits the human physiognomy goes from zero to horror in around ten seconds. And the dramatic transformation into an angry little monster, into a horror clown, takes place within a single image. Here the red nose is the dot on the “i”, or alternatively the “id”, the evil that materialises itself in Stephen King’s novel as the nightmarish clown Pennywise. A dash of colour that roams out to become a painterly expressive gesture before the pigment prints of these dynamic, painting-like photos are finally varnished like an actual painting.
“Send in the clowns” – no, that is not the title of this series. It is “Maybe”. Why “Maybe”? Because nothing is out of the question in any person. With the right stimuli the most tranquil of us sees red at some point. Truly. For example, when crouching in the dark and struck a few times there by the lighting flash of the camera, with whose glaring light the photographer is intentionally blinding us –because of the awesome effects. And when staring cross-eyed all the while at that clown’s nose that Staudinger has pressed on to the middle of our face. “Send in the clowns” is actually what they say in the best-known song from the Broadway musical “A Little Night Music”, and no one less than Frank Sinatra, Shirley Bassey or Barbara Streisand (and even the animated television clown Krusty, from The Simpsons) have already called for the clowns with their powerful voices. “Don’t bother, they’re here!” Indeed, they
really are. «
Art Historian – Journalist