“The breaks are the best part of the day” – this was the first line of a hit song in the 1970s, reflecting the work ethic in Germany of that time. In most companies, there are dedicated areas for those small breaks from routine – where you can drink a coffee standing, smoke a quick cigarette or have a quick chat. These areas are rooms that you might pass through without really taking any notice of them. And their function is the meaning: creating free space for people who want to switch off their work batteries and recharge for a moment.
Matthias Klose has photographed these oases in the world of work. His pictures are devoid of people – intentionally so. What interests him is the room as he finds it and in which he changes nothing. For him, authenticity is important. Without being distracted by people, the rooms exhibit an aesthetic quality of their very own. Man is indirectly present in Klose’s pictures via the traces of the private mise-en-scène of the room.
The gaze of the beholder alights on the structure of the room, on its contents, and starts to explore it on the look-out for characteristic features. And what he finds ranges from the amusing to the absurd. “Some rooms,” Matthias Klose says, “ could have relocated to museums without any changes being made.” These rooms are not intended for the public. In only the rarest of cases does the design of such break rooms correspond to the image of the corporations in question. And not every company felt at ease with this obvious contrast – indeed, some subsequently prohibited publication of the photographs.
Matthias Klose loves irony, his photographs give us documentary moments with a wink. This is reflected in the pictures and the title of the series “That’s it, back to work!”.
born in Brunswick
studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Brunswick
lives and works in Brunswick and Berlin