Owner’s Manual

“CAUTION – Do not bite or suck the device!” (Instructions taken from an owner’s manual for telephones.) Who has not been amused by sentences like the one above—and gained a few completely new ideas? Claudia Wimmer’s collages from the Owner’s Manual series focus on just such instruction manuals. In the past, these were included with every piece of technical equipment purchased, in the form of compact, multilingual, printed and bound booklets. Today, these manuals are increasingly distributed electronically on portable storage devices such as DVD’s, or as digital downloads. As usual in the artist’s work, the pictures have a global reference. Inspired by a technique used in the past by Leonardo da Vinci, the series is drawn with Wimmer’s characteristic precision using red chalk on red chalk backgrounds, a technique which explains the images’ remarkable luminosity. The collage fragments in the drawings set the mood and tone through their visual language. The randomly chosen pieces of technical equipment are frequently vintage products, which imbue the images with an old-fashioned charm.