Schuster exhibits works on paper, small sculptures and wall installations made from fragile dried, pressed leaves. He cuts these out and applies them to paper or positions them in the room. Photographs, mostly snapshots originating from his private family album, serve as samples and his starting point.
The works of Michael Schuster address the conservation and retention of memories. The photographic image is at the heart of this. Photography, as a pictorial realisation of a point in the past, suggests reality and presence to the viewer. Reality because the image is perceived as a natural likeness, and presence because photography invokes a point in the past and in doing so brings it back to life.
Pictorial reduction processes of the samples and the use of leaves to suggest the past release the photographs from their original context. Typical features such as greyscale, tonal separation, perspective and area disappear. The people making the image free themselves from their previous environment and reconnect with the structure and form of the leaf. The disappearance of photography will also result in the disappearance of subjectivity and intimacy. From a fleeting moment in the past comes an image: universal, independent and new – freed from the attempt to fabricate the present and reality.