From his earliest involvement with photography, Floris Neusüss has demonstrated a fascination with the cameraless photogram process. His use of autoreversal paper inverted the relationship of black and white, creating a "positive" photogram in which black objects float in a white field.

This unique two-panel photogram was made following a workshop by the Los Angeles-based artist Robert Heinecken for Neusüss's class at the University of Kassel in Germany. Two sheets of auto-reversal paper were spread on a table in a room lit only with a darkroom safelight. The table was set for a meal and two exposures were made—one at the beginning and one at the end. The resulting image documents a performance enacted by the artists and students enjoying food and drink over the course of several hours. Shadowy images of dinnerware, cutlery, wine bottles and glasses, spaghetti, grapes, eggs, a loaf of bread, and a corkscrew can be seen, as well as residues created by foods and liquids spilling onto the paper, which was then developed and fixed. Many of the participants left their handprints and signatures.

audio Audio: Curator Virginia Heckert explores how this photograph is like a performance.

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Supper for Robert Heinecken
Floris Neusüss (German, born 1937)
Gelatin silver on auto-reversal paper print
Left panel: 31 1/2 x 110 1/4 in. (80 x 280 cm)
Right panel: 30 5/16 x 109 3/8 in. (77 x 277.8 cm)