LANDSCAPE IN MY MIND Catalogue (German/English edition)Editor: Ingried Brugger/Florian Steininger
Authors: Ingried Brugger, Heike Eipeldauer, Roland Lippuner, Lisa Ortner-Kreil, Christoph Ransmayr, Veronika Rudorfer und Florian Steininger
Grafic Design by Rosebud Inc., issued by Verlag moderner Kunst, Bad Vöslau 2014
30 x 28,5 cm
60 color ills.
Exhibition schedule: Bank Austria Kunstforum Vienna, 11 February - 26 April 2015
Landscape in my Mind is a pictorial journey through the landscapes of current art photography. The exhibition covers the whole gamut of current positions in international landscape photography from Hamish Fulton to Andreas Gursky. Always a network of connections between man and nature landscape presents itself as a mental projection level of the perception of our surroundings – both close and distant. The works of art function as “distorted” mirrors of perceived reality; they are not pure documentations produced at the click of a camera but hybrid tableaus between fiction and abstraction, metaphors of the view of the world and beyond. Typically, the photographs are “pictures painted with the camera” in large format, which exude the self-confidence of New Photography. Blurring effects and compositional qualities enhance the tableau’s painterly and pictorial value. Consequently, artists such as Elger Esser or Jörg Sasse, for example, see themselves more as “picture composers” rather than photographers. Rather than the objective perception of landscape as found in say Thomas Struth, these images elicit emotions in the observer, including feelings of being overwhelmed, melancholy, disquiet and dread. Photography as “big-screen mental movies”: daring first-time ascents of the eight-thousanders, tempestuous boat trips on the high seas, expeditions to the ends of the earth, missions to space – the endless possibilities captured in an image. And constantly changing perspectives: in the midst of the monster waves, caught up in a thicket of jungle, looking down into a valley or adopting a distance to our world’s natural and man-made phenomena – gliding out over megapolises, the island atolls of the oceans and craters of the marshy landscape. Some of the artists in the exhibition present landscape photography as an experience and adventure, and resort to manipulative means in doing so. “Global landscapes” produced as digital collages and enriched using found footage from the Web. Others destroy the illusion as when Thomas Ruff reveals images in pixeled resolution to be nothing more than digital information. Moreover, we have never set eyes on Mars. Roland Barthes’ pronouncement on photography that “this is how it was” is annulled given the full spectrum of manipulation and fiction. Landscape photography as a painterly construction of reality.
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