1997/98 Ross
1997/98 Ross



Blick durch das Schlüsselloch [Through the Keyhole], 1997

Blick durch das Schlüsselloch/Schloss Buchberg

[Through the Keyhole/Castle Buchberg]

1997/1998 Blick durch das Schlüsselloch

[Through the Keyhole]

Photo installation and wooden frame

Photo: C-print, 74 x 74 cm

Frame: wood, 16.5 x 13.5 cm

View through the keyhole photographed on 21st July 1997, installation with frame 1998

Room: mill tower in the chapel courtyard

The installation arises on the occasion of the exhibition Rauminstallationen 1983−1998 [Site-Specific Installations 1983–1998]. RICHARD ROSS attaches a picture frame signed in 1997 around a keyhole, through which it is possible to glimpse an attic room whose state on 21st July 1997 is captured in a photo from the series Schloss Buchberg [Buchberg Castle]. The photo is later hung next to the door and the installation presented as another permanent spatial concept.

1997 Schloss Buchberg

[Buchberg Castle]

Photo series, 7 subjects

All C-prints, 74 x 74 cm each

Gertraud and Dieter Bogner collection, Kunstraum Buchberg

‘… the house is one of the greatest powers of integration for the thoughts, memories and dreams of mankind.’ (Gaston Bachelard)

Throughout my life I’ve had a recurring dream in which I find a mysterious door in my home, one that I never knew was there.  When I open it, I discover, to my astonishment, a wonderful, unused room, mine for the taking, and I’m filled with joy at the magic of this inexplicable, unexpected gift.

For me, Buchberg is like that, only more so.  It’s a place where every turn takes the visitor into yet another new space, each altered by an object or objects, by color, by light, or by a rearrangement of elements, from the subtle to the explosive.  It’s a place filled with mysteries, surprises and pleasures at every turn.

By giving the castle over to artists to make site-specific and room-sized installations, Dieter and Gertraud Bogner have turned Buchberg itself into a work in progress, a work in which every corner, door, window, wall and vista is replete with possibility.  Richard ROSS’s photographs capture Buchberg’s essence by looking into its interstices, into rooms and spaces which are in the process of becoming.

His images capture both the indeterminacy and the quintessential character of the castle and of each locale within it.  In a room with multiple sea-green doors and doorways sits a plaster bust, its head lying nearby in a kind of basin.  Is this a work of art?  A historical fragment?  Something finished, or something just begun?  Another room contains a single, framed drawing, a representation within a representation, a space of illusion inside a space of possibility.  There is another image in which carpet of grass ends at the portal of an open door, from which our view is summarily blocked by a roof and a part of a brick wall.  Why a door that opens from outside onto outside?  And where are we situated—on the ground or high above it? 

This is a surreal collision of views, one which succumbs to the logic of poetry but resists comprehension by the quotidian eye.


In each of ROSS’s photographs, we find the ordinary transformed.  The peace of a table and chair placed before an open window suggests a writer’s solitary focus, the moments before reverie is given material form.  A shadowy attic contains doors propped haphazardly throughout, as though each was ready to open onto a forgotten memory.  A picture of a stately white room, with huge arches from wall to ceiling, centers on a staircase that seems to lead nowhere, while off to the right a partially opened door emits an eerie yellow light.  Something vital is happening here—or has happened, or will happen. 

There is one photograph which is different from the rest, taken outdoors on the castle’s grounds.  In an idyllic landscape, a table and two chairs sit empty, evoking an invitation rather than an absence.  It’s a surprise to come on this picture—a bit like encountering the bright light of the afternoon after having spent the day indoors.  Here, a humble domestic element has been introduced into the lush, unmediated space of nature, reconciling the contradictory positions of inside and outside, intimate space and exterior space that the other photographs emphasize.


ROSS’s images are as fresh and unpredictable as Buchberg itself.  The castle, like his vision of it, is a magical, constantly unfolding site, each intervention revealing another yet another aspect of its character.  Its primary spaces—cellar, attic, hall, stair, corner, window, door—are the raw material for the performance of transformation, a catalyst set in motion by the inventiveness and generosity of Buchberg’s owners, and perpetuated by the imagination and sensitivity of the artists who make it their own.


(Article by Marcia Tucker, German translation by Barbara Rosenegger published in Raumkunst.Kunstraum. Schloß Buchberg am Kamp, Vienna 2000)


Website desenvolvido por Bondhabits. Agência de marketing digital e desenvolvimento de websites e desenvolvimento de apps mobile