Sarah Schoenfeld

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For four years, Berlin photographer Sarah Schoenfeld tended bar at Berghain, a famously decadent nightclub where customers indulged in cocaine, ecstasy and speed. “Every night,” Schoenfeld says, “somehow you don’t see the drugs, but you see the people on them.” Inspired by her experiences, the artist came up with a novel project: She dissolved various drugs in a bath of alcohol or water, and dripped the liquids onto separate, already exposed photo negatives. The chemical reactions formed fantastic shapes and colors, which Schoenfeld enlarged and photographed for her new book, All You Can Feel.

The project “gave a face” to the drugs, she says, creating a visual representation to match the mental states the drugs induced. When she showed the image of speed, with its sharp white spikes and hectic fringe, to people who had taken the drug, they identified with the way it looked. During an impromptu experiment at a rehab clinic, users asked to select their favorite picture always chose the drug that had landed them there. “Somehow,” she says, “people read it as truth.”

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Photographer Sarah Schönfeld took liquid versions of drugs, both legal and illegal, and covered exposed negative film. Each drug interacted with the film differently, and the chemical reaction continued for variable amounts of time. She repeated the process for dozens of drugs and enlarged the negatives after the reactions were complete.

Visit her website to see more

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All You Can Feel by Sarah Schoenfeld

Sarah Schoenfeld is the first person to admit an astute awareness of the unique effects of recreational drugs. After observing first-hand the hedonistic behaviour of hardened ravers, she decided to bypass her voyeuristic gaze by taking a range of mind-altering substances and placing them directly onto developed photo negatives.

Turning her studio into a laboratory, Sarah squeezed drops of various legal and illegal liquid drug mixtures onto exposed film, blowing them up to large scale prints that reveal incredible shapes and colours, and the unique inner universes hiding within these substances. Consider our minds altered.

- Vulkom

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Sarah Schoenfeld who had ample exposure to the realities of drugs while working in a Berlin nightclub. To answer the question she converted her photography studio into a laboratory and exposed legal and illegal liquid drug mixtures to film negatives. The resulting chemical reactions were then greatly magnified into large prints to form a body of work titled All You Can Feel.

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