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LOVE, FAITH, HOPE
Prof. Lars Bauernschmitt
Who will still be talking about Britney Spears tomorrow? Who would really want to watch Tom Cruise’s latest movie next year? Nothing is as uncertain as the future for today’s celebrity. Life in the limelight can be very short indeed. It’s a fragile existence, under constant public observation which rigourously focusses on those in the spotlight and often desires nothing more than their failure or destruction. Envy and admiration are a dangerous mix in the public mind. Love and disdain, hate and adoration are often only one headline apart.
The fate of the winner or loser is in the hands of the editor; friends switch to enemies in no time, and today’s closest friend becomes a secret informer for the opposition tomorrow. The media circus turns everything into an uncontrollable game of Russian roulette which always destroys its own players.
Kathrin Guenter knows all about the illusions of eternal fame and of everlasting love. She is familiar with the mechanisms of the media and all the different forms of manipulated adoration. For more than 15 years Kathrin Guenter has been observing and studying every celebrity moment; the simultaneous longing for attention and a desperation to stay out of the permanent spotlight. Kathrin Guenter sees everything and records it for what we call eternity.
She knows both sides of the game. She has been both victim and persecutor. In the role of a paparazzi she was chasing celebrities and at the same time she was herself pursued, trying in vain to protect her own privacy. This constant game of hide and seek was eventually presented to the hungry public eye in the form of exhibitions and magazines.
The Berlin based artist acted both behind and in front of the camera. She exaggerates the media game of a seemingly disgusted audience who at the same time can’t get enough of the alleged scandals arranged in advance by both media and stars. “80 percent of all stories are arranged with the media”, says former Boulevard editorinchief Manfred Meyer, as quoted by Hans Paul in his book “PromiJaeger von Hollywood” Star Shots II could be interpreted as an almost discrete work compared to the followup Star Shots III – The Go Between Double of 2013. While Kathrin Guenter was more concerned with revealing the evident at the
beginning of her career, the artist continued her work by literally capturing the soul of celebrities on light sensitive material. In the tradition of famous American spirit photographers she created images of blurred and often over or underexposed personalities, possibly celebrities. The artist describes these images as resulting from a complicated procedure seperating the soul from the human body. The images reveal the truth behind the facade and therefore manage to come much closer to the essential person then any of the reallife images posed by celebrities. How often can celebrities still claim: “Yes I created this persona but I
am totally different from that.”
Kathrin Guenter finally reveals the truth. But what is all this soul and psychology good for, compared to a simple knowledge of the future? With her work Celebrity Tarot Deck, Kathrin Guenter goes even further. Her new work opens another dimension.
Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears or Paris Hilton can finally begin to plan ahead. They can truly foresee their destinies, wished for or unwished; to enjoy fortune or suffer misfortune, to seek fame or oblivion, life or death.
Their future is an open book for all to read. The star’s destiny is assured. But for which celebrity?