Carrying bags containing costumes, taxidermied birds and camera equipment, Austrian photographer Tina Lechner used to break into abandoned buildings to take staged self-portraits. She loved the atmosphere, the architecture, the occasional forgotten wall painting, the adventure: “It was like a parallel universe…you find yourself in a kind of computer game, running through a building that’s completely empty.” With a similar look to Alias actor Jennifer Garner, it’s easy to picture Lechner staking out a building, clambering in through an open window and dodging around the CCTV.
Working with an analogue camera, Lechner these days focuses on the female form, producing striking images that are distinctly sculptural in style. She obscures the face, shapes and tilts her models’ bodies, adorns them with geometrical structures then prints the images in black and white. Lechner is intent on reducing and objectifying the model – taking away facial expression, colour, surface – yet what she leaves behind says so much.
Hedge, issue 39, February 2016, pp38-46