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Bettina Schulz | Panta Rhei (excerpt), In: NOVUM (world of graphic design 05/12), Munich (D), 2012

It's just a blink of an eye, a fleeting moment in time between the present and the past, between now and then. It is this metamorphosis, the ephemeral quality of things that Marko Zink captures with his cool look, in pictures that provoke, intrigue, disturb even, but which always retain a respectful distance.

Marko Zink is clearly a photographer of the old school, although his birth year of 1975 wouldn't necessarily indicate this. What gives it away is the ease with which as a photographer he spans the interface between art and design, and doesn't allow himself to succumb to the temptations of the latest technological wizardry that promises even more pixels and ever faster exposure times. Analogue not digital is his way; he takes his time, concentrating on his own unique vision. He is a photographer. Not the kind to pack thousands of images onto hard disk memories, just because digital technology allows you to. Marko Zink »dreams his series and concepts, « as he himself says, and they are not the kind of things you can find in the archives of the picture agencies.

In order to understand the work of Marko Zink, you have to know a bit about his background: He graduated in philology, publishing and -communication science at the University in -Vienna, and while there he also attended -lectures on film and photography in the history of art department. After that Zink attended a course in artistic photography before completing his education at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna with master classes in art, photography and space in painting. In this way it became clear that photography for Marko Zink was just a medium. One that he mastered, certainly, but simply a means of transport for his artistic messages. »I like the playful, the conceptual, finding new directions in a metier and then pulling out all the stops to be able to realise a project,« says the creative. »And if, -despite all that effort, it doesn't work, then I just have to accept it and look for another project. «

One project that worked extremely well in its entirety is the series about the spa hotel and complex of Schruns in the Vorarlberg region of Austria. Built in the early 1950s this institution had grown by the 1970s into one of the most famous and finest therapeutic spas of its kind. But its turnover began to fall, and since 2002 the complex of building has been empty and deserted, the atmosphere is almost spooky. Even the owner just vanished, overnight, leaving his Porsche parked outside. Many rumours abound as to where he could be and speculation has been rife about what will happen to the complex. Now the plan is to demolish it. This place, with its unspoken stories, was predestined for photographer Marko Zink: Out of it he created a -series of provocative images, putting his finger on the paradox of a crumbling therapeutic institution – the »doctor« had become the patient. In these searching images he captures a transience that is independent of the motif, thanks to his special photographic technique. An arm hangs over the side of a bed, over there someone stands behind a curtain. There is a fleeting glimpse of a glamorous past that quickly dissipates into the sadness of neglect and piles of abandoned furniture. A private tragedy in Zink's own life – the sudden death of his brother during this project – may also have contributed to the intense melancholy in this series. Vitality and death lay very close together in the artistic concept – reality underpinned it with pitiless force.

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