For the last few years, Hamburg-based photographer Klaus Frahm has been capturing images of incredibly ornamental European theaters from the other side of the stage. Klaus Frahm’s images are basically those of “the fourth wall” — a term used in the world of theater and cinema to refer to the imaginary stage wall that separates the world of the characters from that of the audience. Shot from behind the velvet curtain, Frahm’s photos give us a rare glimpse of the scaffolding and lighting structures and the immense mechanics and grandeur of stages. Looking at these pictures one can appreciate the enormous fly space that’s hidden behind the red curtain which can be up to three times larger than the seating area. The contrast between the warm, comfortable theater seats and the cold, backstage machinery is exciting.
The series first started while Klaus was photographing a theatre for an architect. “At one point the stage was completely empty, so I photographed the audience framed by lamps and structures in front of them. It was later on my way home when I looked at the Polaroid of that scene: the red seats were like an image within an image,” Klaus explains.
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