Expanding upon his origins in a documentary based approach to photography, Heidrich continues a visual investigation into the technical history of the medium itself and the idea of the artist as a ‘complex manufacturer’. Through the application of industrial printing techniques onto recontextualised substrates and their subsequent manipulations, the works dwell on the intersections of two technical logics resulting in their hybrid forms.
Complex manufacturers can be defined as those employing ‘other than exclusively repetitive manufacturing processes’ including engineer-to-order, made-to-order and assemble-to-order. Reflecting upon ideas of contemporary art’s relationship and role within the larger sphere of commerce, Heidrich’s oeuvre poses the question that if an artist is a manufacturer, a supplier of sorts, in the traditional supply and demand matrix, ‘What does the consumer (audience) desire from the product?’ (a contemporary practice).
The aesthetics of industrial design lend themselves to clarity and purpose through their links to the notion of traditional labour and intrinsically having a function. This lens gave confidence to the minimalist sculpture movement and is now recontextualised in Heidrich’s collection of works FOLD (2020). Exposing the malleable nature of the photographic image, the works utilise manipulated photographic scans which are mechanically printed upon aluminium panels. Employing further industrial fabrication processes, the aluminium planes are then mechanically folded, bent, curved, crushed and coerced into their final stances harmonising the 2D plane of the photographic image with its structural recipient.