Ulrike Lehmann


"All perception involves thought, all thought involves intuition, and all observation involves invention." (Rudolf Arnheim, in: Kunst und Sehen, Berlin, New York 1978, p 6)
"In German, a folder is a Faltblatt or Faltprospekt. The English verb ‘to fold’ can refer as much to a piece of paper as to an object. However, the title, which does not only identify an object but also indicates the appropriate movement of the hand, does not represent the only subject of this video. In contrast to his earlier works, Schreiner has not confined himself to an action pattern, but allowed himself to be inspired by the fold as a line and a stripe, creating surprising visual analogies on different planes. As in his other works, this collection of similar motifs is presented in a quick succession of individual pictorial sequences that show a chain of associations.
At the start, curtains are opened and closed – as in the cinema or theatre. Next, there is a wall of upright, folded-up cardboard boxes being pushed from one side to the other, and then the same happens with shirts (many of them striped) on hangers in a wardrobe. Paint is applied to a wood-panelled wall, a strip is torn from brown paper, the white pages of a book – photographed on edge – are turned over and then a book is leafed through with a picture of a shirt on each page. Each individual key is played on a wooden xylophone, an accordion is played and piano keys are struck. After that, a shellac record is pulled from a white cover. Suddenly, one sees the sketch of the filmstrip of the video, drawn by a hand in a striped shirt. Then slides wrapped in film are pushed into the picture, consisting in the main of photographs of striped shirts. The transparent wrap lies on top of a large picture of a striped shirt. A wall with books whose backs look like stripes is pushed from one side of the video picture to the other, and then zigzag lines are drawn with large movements.
Analogies in contents can also be made out in one sequence. A map showing a linear road system in a landscape is spread out, followed by a curtain with grey and white stripes and a leaf pattern. A black and white photograph of tree trunks in a forest is hung up, the wooden xylophone is played, and then a wood-panelled wall is moved to one side.
In this work, Schreiner follows the laws of perception. To see, says Rudolf Arnheim, means to grasp meaningful structural patterns. Perception is organised according to the same structural rules. The inundation with stimuli has to be countered by simplicity – which lies, for example, in uniformity, repetition and the reduction of structural characteristics. For structural equivalence, Gestalt psychologists use the term isomorphism.
In quick succession and in a humorous and imaginative way, he creates visual and thematic analogies and structural patterns that are amusing as well – due to unusual combinations and because they demonstrate Schreiner’s sharp eye for comparisons.
The tempo with which the images are presented is akin to the effect of commercials slotted into films on American television in a bid to reach the subconscious of the viewer. Schreiner’s pictorial dynamics means that even with great concentration, it is virtually impossible to take in every detail. Much that is shown probably penetrates to a different level where the eye for analogies can be "implanted" beneath the skin.
At any rate, in his video "Folder", Schreiner is challenging the viewer to comparative seeing which can be viewed as active research. He directs the viewer towards a more acute observation of details in his day-to-day existence and invites him in a subtle and playful way to carry out a comparative examination of structures, forms, and actions."