D / E


Aiming High
Photographs by Frank Schinski
3 March – 15 April 2023, Opening: 27 April, 6-9 p.m.
At approximately 7 p.m. there will be an artist talk with Jochen L. Stöckmann

In his photographic works, Frank Schinski reflects on topics that receive scant attention in today’s media – that lack any catchy “message” and would never make the headlines. To the individuals he portrays, however, the everyday professional situations captured in his photos are deeply significant; the same holds true for appearances made at what ought to be social events, such as anniversary celebrations or farewells at a final day of work.

Schinski has long been preoccupied with the question of what work means to people. He employs his camera to track down the mechanisms and interactions between the world of work and individual subjects. His approach resembles that of a sociologist who goes beyond simple observation to enter into a situation themselves in search of a more profound understanding. A research scientist would present such results with tables and texts, but a photographer captures them in images – allowing a viewer to develop their own perspectives and associations.

For his series “Aiming High”, Frank Schinski has been photographing individuals at job fairs, job interviews, castings, or assessment centres since 2017. The exhibition at Galerie Poll gives an impression of the series, which will be published in its entirety in book form.

Schinski’s photographs are characterised by technical perfection and, above all, by a refined use of colour and light, which allows its subjects to become the main character on a stage meant for their own appearance. Nothing is posed, nothing is acted out for the camera. The photographer observes and waits with equal measure of patience and excitement for the “perfect” moment. “When I look through the viewfinder of the camera,” Schinski revealed in an interview, “I am more focused than at any other time in my life.” For “Aiming High” he observed groups of people queuing at the lift or “competitors” waiting, ready to go before the judges, for their moment at a casting. The booths and partition walls set up for assessment centres and job fairs are as equally integrated into the composition as are the dignified settings of a traditional company, with imposing large tables and wood-panelled walls. Upon closer inspection, the photos reveal many such telling details. The photographer varies several motifs in sequences that depict changes in posture, gestures, and facial expressions down to the smallest nuances, allowing the viewer to draw conclusions about the feelings and behaviour of the persons who have been observed.

Frank Schinski has chosen various formats for his series, combining them with playful tension to create connections between specific motifs. The C-prints are mounted and framed behind acrylic glass using the Diasec process.

Following his solo exhibition But that’s how it is at the Kunststiftung Poll in 2016, Frank Schinski has increasingly devoted himself to the cultural perception of photography. On this path, he has shifted more and more from working as a pure documentary photographer and photojournalist to an artistic use of the camera. With his pictures, he wants to draw attention to a reality that his viewers are invited to continually rediscover and understand. For him, he says, when he takes photographs “the world explains itself.”

Frank Schinski, born in Prenzlau in 1975 and raised in a small village near the Polish border, worked in construction for several years after an apprenticeship as a bricklayer, before completing an Abitur, the German secondary school degree, through adult education. From 1999 to 2006 he studied photojournalism and documentary photography at what is now the Hannover University of Applied Sciences and Arts. Since then he has worked as a photographer for international magazines and companies. Since 2009 he has been a member of the photographers’ collective OSTKREUZ – Agentur der Fotografen, taking in part in joint shows of the group – most recently in 2020/21 in the exhibition KONTINENT – In Search of Europe at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. Frank Schinski lives and works in Hannover.

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