Andreas Mühe declares "whoever controls images controls reality”. Along with determining what is, and ought to apply, power lies at the very centre of what it’s all about. It’s about determining which images show certain motifs at certain points in time; how they show it and who the audience is.
Mühe is a master of compressing these underlying mechanisms into the picture frame, and of tracking down both conscious and subconscious ideologies while simultaneously re-enacting them in a way that is uncompromising and subversive. Subversion is a disruptive reshuffling of power; it is the attempt to overthrow the assumed order, comparable even to a self-imposed state of emergency. The constitutional lawyer Carl Schmitt explained that the term ‘sovereign’ — powerful— refers to those who make decisions in states of acute emergency. He put forward that power belongs to those who determine a valid legal system and dismiss possible alternatives. Applying this widely known dictum to the art of Andreas Mühe, the following can be said: “the individual who intentionally captures that state of emergency within a picture frame and undermines it, is precisely the one to subvert, question and shake power”. This is what Andreas Mühe’s work transmits — it is his continuous goal to destroy the power of images in the eye of the beholder, to implode expectations, reshuffle preconceived orders and fields of meanings. He seeks to expose propaganda and a trigger all-encompassing questioning.
Mühe’s photographs are meticulously staged and shot with an analog large-screen camera — with the goal to subvert, they continuously strive to show states of emergency and highlight exceptions to prevailing notions of implicitness. At times, minimal and subtle hints achieve an effect of maximum shock in the beholder.