Berlin Photography with IMAGO
IMAGO is a Berlin based photography company specialising in a one-of-a-kind enclosed photo booth called ‘IMAGO camera’ developed in 1970, which takes life-size black and white photographs in an analogue format. Unlike in any other camera or booth, there is a self-reflection screen that captures the subject of the camera on a 62x200cm canvas. The screen projects the exact image to the subject as to the photographer, allowing them the ability to construct a photograph that is completely in their own self-image. With its extremely high focal length, this camera is specially designed for life-size imaging of objects on a 1:1 scale without any distortion directly onto the unique positive phot paper designed by ILFORD Switzerland specifically for IMAGO. The subject’s portrait is exposed onto the paper and then developed and fixed; within 10 minutes the image reveals the excellent contrasts of the deepest black to the brightest white. The result? The ‘IMAGOGRAMM’. An unedited full-length analogue portrait created by and starring the subject themselves and, of course, each picture a one of a kind!
This evolutionary contraption is still to this day the only camera able to create these results. After its development in the 70’s, inventors Werner Kraus and Erhard Hößle exhibited the IMAGO camera in various art galleries around Germany, not just as a camera, but as a thing of art. However, due to the photo paper being discontinued with upcoming of digital photography, they then put it into storage where it stayed until Susanna Kraus, artist and descendent of Werner, saved it from its ill fate in 2005 and re-established production of the photo paper and started with exhibitions with the IMAGO camera in 2006. Since 2014, the ‘IMAGO Photour’– a more transportable version of the original camera –has been developed, so the invention can be enjoyed all around the world. Along with a collection of its most prized photographs, art and photography lovers alike everywhere can now experience this wonder for themselves.
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