Wolfgang Müllner’s photographs are marine panoramas of a kind familiar from vacation shots. The horizon divides the picture right down the middle. Müllner then takes the color information “inscribed in” a given picture and calculates the average tonal values of sea and sky, respectively. He uses these two values to “overwrite” the image with monochrome fields, pushing the original motif back to the edges of the picture so that it serves as a mere “passe-partout,” a matte for a new form that renders an interpretation of the same segment of reality.
Motivation to this kind of editing was triggered by a workshop given by John Hilliard in Wolkersdorf: Parts of an image were overlaid by colors that exist somewhere in the picture. Müllner absorbed the idea of masking out and varies it by using the average color of the area that is below the patched area. That simulates a camera with variable resolution and saturation: where the monochrome areas represent one color pixel each, the B&W border has a resolution of several thousand pixels.
Müllners plurality of systematic and formulaic seascapes references to a world view where industrial standards and specifications inform our increasingly “automated” perception of the world around us.