German Photo Book Award NOMINATED 2015
Prix de la Photographie Paris 2015

Kitty Kino
25 x 35,5 cm
176 pages
112 images
English, German
ISBN 978-3-901753-77-0
October 2014


Kitty Kino is a film director and photographer from Vienna. KITTY KINO goes on a journey of discovery to places where everything seems already familiar. KITTY KINO portrays her Vienna on night-time wanderings. KITTY KINO’s distinctive qualities, her colour and image composition that borders on the abstract, together with her playfully applied ‘pixilism’, using a Nokia 6131 mobile, bring out features somewhere ­between photography and painting. Photographic brush strokes. Plus lucis VIENNA.

A mobile with integrated camera – what a disappointment! Under best sunny conditions: the pictures flat, rough and dull, but what else could I expect at this low resolution? That was in 2007.

One night on the way home, on a whim, I tried again. What a surprise! The street lights: pulled out into lightning and stars; the colours: lurid and eerily untrue; the buildings: atomized into dots, almost transparent, practically dancing. In contrast: the blackness of the sky – impermeable deepest black. But sometimes, when the eye has long registered night, the sky in these photographs still radiates a wonderful blue. This blue also comes in a unique texture that differs fundamentally from the irritating noise of other night-time pictures.

I call the aesthetic of this photographic technique PIXILISM and the photo cycle KUNST.STADT.NACHT. Again and again I surprise myself with the results of my night-time pickings. Filters or other post-editing do not come into it, except to adjust brightness and as minor retouching. Usually I even leave the picture detail unchanged – possibly something I picked up when making films. It seems, moreover, that the photographs taken with this tiny mobile phone camera are utterly indifferent to the dimensions of the print: black stays black, pixel stays pixel, colour stays colour. There is no fuzziness due to size.

The device has its drawbacks, of course. The memory is full after only 30 pictures and the battery empty at the same time. It is almost like analogue photography, you have to be very careful with your resources.

By now I cherish the preciously obsolete Nokia 6131, because only with this device can I transform the icons of the city into light and colour mirages within a black frame of night. Only with this device am I able to introduce movement into the firm substance of buildings, monuments or sculptures and to atomize them into almost abstract phenomena. In doing so I am attracted by questions like whether it is possible to find a new view of landmarks that have been photographed thousands of times, or whether I’ll succeed in capturing the paradox of finding what I consider typical in what is unique. Artistic pictures, the great film director Andrej Tarkowskij wrote, should not trigger associations but memories of truth.


Kitty Kino

born in Vienna, is a graduate of the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien, where she studied film and television. Her pioneering feature films, for instance Karambolage, Die Nachtmeerfahrt or Wahre Liebe, were shown at festivals and film events all over the world and received wide popular recognition at a time when Austrian films were hardly noticed outside the country. Her TV productions, for instance Das Geständnis and Aktion C+M+B are much repeated audience magnets. In between her film projects, Kitty Kino directed experimental plays as gesamtkunstwerke, including stage sets and costume design. In 2008 she published her first novel, Lara und die Insider. For her pioneering role as film maker the federal province of Vienna awarded her the Gold Medal of Merit in 2009. The photographic medium has opened a new artistic field for Kitty Kino. In the individual pictures she particularly enjoys the freedom from the narrative corset of film. She focuses on playing with intimations and ambiguities, capturing moments of great contrasts or strong symbolic power. Kitty Kino has shown her photographic work in numerous exhibitions.