Docpixel Photography by Sarah Schoenfeld.
After years of observing the manifold effects of drugs in the nightclubs of Berlin, All You Can Feel is a humorous alchemist experiment by Sarah Schönfeld. The performance of escapism, which the substances she investigates yield, however, is not restricted to the hedonistic parallel universes of the clubs. Lifestyle drugs have become an accepted part of contemporary achieving society: they lift our mood, increase our ability to perform, and enhance communicative abilities, thus bestowing us with the most desired soft skills of our CVs.
Myths, history, memory and identity are constant points of reference in Sarah Schönfeld's artistic work. Her mediums are photography and film. Yet, in All You Can Feel, she entirely withdraws her own gaze: the camera, which traditionally acts as the premise for the artist’s image, is removed, leaving solely the photographic media. In this sense, her studio becomes a laboratory, as she sprinkles the photo negatives with substances, such as LSD, heroin or caffeine, which then start to react on its surface. Thus, she combines drugs and photography, which each represent opposing approaches to reality. And leaves the power to create an image to the chemical substances. Hence, the negative becomes a stage for an allegorical and chemical process between representation and reality – LSD paintings without an author.
The unique photo prints Sarah Schönfeld creates from these negatives are snapshots in time, as the substances continue to react on the negatives in a chemical écriture automatique. The emerging motifs oscillate between enlightened petri dishes, cross sections of crystals, as well as resembling historic illustrations of the cosmos and the genesis. MDMA for instance, which intensifies each sensoric input, renders you empathic and euphoric, takes the form of a stellar constellation; crystal islands of light in deep psychedelic blue. In other works the substance spreads out to perfect circles, which, on the dark ground, resemble the silhouette of the iconic Blue Marble photography of our planet from 1972, and radiate iridescently.