public scenes

A true story is never as true as a fictional one.

William Somerset Maugham

Public Scenes are scenic portraits taken primarily in urban public spaces, based on classic street photography. The pictures are primarily not staged and the protagonists not arranged. They are found everyday situations, although in our time it is not allowed to photograph them for legal reasons. Therefore, after the photograph is taken, a staging is created, whereby the individual, who outwardly defines himself mainly by his face and is thus recognizable, is anonymized by replacing the heads with portraits of mannequins.

On the one hand, this work poses the question of the apparent interchangeability of the individual in his or her daily actions, and on the other hand, whether it is possible to retain the central message of the recorded image by using stand-ins or by deliberately masking the protagonists in the image and eliminating their facial expressions.

Don't the anonymized protagonists, whom we experience in the series Public Scenes in everyday situations and on journeys around the world, also tell a true story?

Michael Michlmayr

Fine Art Prints

variable sizes 30 x 40 cms

and 60 x 80 cms

Photo: Public Scene © Michael Michlmayr, Bildrecht 2023

Exhibition views Based on true stories, FOTOWIEN 2023, Grünraum 4, Wien © Michael Michlmayr, Bildrecht 2023


"The realism of photography creates confusion as to what is real" Susan Sontag