Lovers Vehicle

Get Outta My Car, Get Into My Dreams

The world of cars is dominated by men. And yet they can and will not renounce the feminine. Offensive staged, this stereotype is today successfully reproduced in some kind of an endless loop: The grid girls in motorsport among them just as the hostesses on the car shows or the Pirelli calendar in the garage. The design in these cases is always clear, the message consistently one-dimensional.

In her photo series “Lover´s vehicles” Daniela Wolfer picks up these constellations, but without using the superficial calculus of male domains and female images, motifs and messages. Instead she tells stories that begin in the imagination before the image and do not end until far behind. Even the voyeuristic glance into the red leather interior of a Mercedes-Benz SLC in front of a forest, clarifies that the title of the series ” lover´s vehicles ” permits various styles of interpretation. The same is true for the individual pictures. How two Mercedes-Benz young timers – their grilles and headlights frozen into grimaces – bends over a sparsely covered, on the ground lying woman, has almost something humanly brutal. In victory pose an old S-class seems to throne over the body of a prostrate woman wearing fishnets under the trench coat. In another picture three graces obviously have trouble to maintain at the flank of an elongated E-Class Cabriolet; if they ended up in this state self-determined or by external forces, remains open.

None of the photos can be reconstructed as a progression of events. The time of the event is suspected between late night and early morning. The places where Daniela Wolfer staged her shootings are strictly speaking non-places. You have to be aware of those ideas and description pattern; you inevitably have when you read her pictures, to recognize (or avoid) that you are submissive taken in to the common clichés. Whoever expect fishnet stockings and fur coats to a relevant milieu maybe have already lost. Who wants to see behind the progression of events poses, possibly on the wrong track. And who might recognize in male domains and woman images a victim – offender relationship, has already exposed him self.

Of course, there is a fine line of content on which Daniela Wolfer with her series “lover´s vehicles” moves. She could slip on both sides of this balancing act. That she does not do it, but leaves it to the viewers, does not make things easier, but more exciting. You have to make sure about every single subject and every little detail of your own gaze and your own attitude. That already was so in her paintings, where iridescent people, environments and their habit in detailed nuances literally bursting out of the canvases. In her most recent series “lover´s vehicles” she has extended these real and associative space with photographic means. And not just medial, as long as you recognize quite picturesque elements in her photographs, but above all motifs and atmospheric: With an open visor and clear views she staged inscrutable motives, which may be called in the most positive sense dodgy.

Ralf Christofori