Thierry Cohen‘s series ‘Darkened Cities’ – uniting time and space to make visible a long forgotten contact of the humankind with cosmos in seeking for celestial guidance.
Replacing the light polluted skies over the world’s major cities with the starry skies over the Mojave, the Sahara, or the Atacama Desert, at the precise latitude and angle of the relevant cityscape, the artist creates a single new powerful image with huge emotional effect. These are not fantasy skies but the real ones as should be seen due to the world’s rotation about its axis. However, behind the visual poetry, these fictional city portraits focus on their darkness only with the reflections from the blazing stars above to sense the delicate feeling of inevitable extinction.
Tracey Moffatts’ ‘Body Remembers’ – a series of ten large-scale photographs with cinematic aesthetics exploring fictional narrative about loss, longing, identity and estrangement, based upon artist’s memories, family history and myth.
Tracey Moffatt – Body Remembers
Moffett herself, dressed in an old-fashioned maid’s uniform, is the sole protagonist in the scenes. Her face is intentionally unseen, highlighting the mystery behind the woman and the house, implying a connection between them at one time.The story, centered on a single character, is a kind of homage to her mother and grandmother who worked as domestics.
“The maid returns to the house where she once worked, a place of memory and of where she felt a sense of security and perhaps a lost love. We see the interior of the house as it once was and again as a ruin… My Aboriginal great-grandmother worked on a cattle property in outback Queensland she was a cook. Then my mother also worked as a domestic… My work is often based on fact or personal family history but it never stays there.”
Inspired by the poem “Body, Remember’ by the Greek poet Cavafy, it follows the idea the poem renders about the memory written into our body that becomes an inalienable part of us.
Terri Loewenthal’s series ‘Psychscape’ – in-camera collages of dreamlike landscapes as an invitation to immerse into this painterly environment to explore the psychology of perception.
We define ourselves based on our subjective experiences, and hence we have a natural incline towards the familiar. These colourful visions of sublime and utopian places do not exist, but through utilizing elements of actual landscapes, they look familiar and offer a comfortable first step into the unknown world of the psyche.
“Color is a secret backdoor to our soul. It tells us how to feel.”
Terri Loewenthal – Psychscape
To create each one of these alluring images as a mix of light and reflection, no post-production was applied, but a secret process using coloured filters and self-made optics in a single exposure.
Maarten van Schaik’s series ‘Anonymous Contacts’ – mysterious imaginations inspired by pictorial art taking the viewer to a distant intangible world of solitude but in a sense of a witness of a dream alike place enhanced by subtle magical colors and enigmatic subjects hidden by dark shadows.
Maarten van Schaik – Anonymous Contacts
“I am moving through the world, hoping for anonymity, hoping I am able to humble myself enough to see and record what the rest of us, preoccupied with our hectic everyday lives won’t see. As is the case in almost all of my work, I am not interested in pure registration or a factual approach of the things I am photographing. The objects and subjects which I photograph remain veiled. They are part of a world in which the distinction between dream and reality is not stable; Time has become diffuse.”
“Blondes make the best victims. They are like virgin show that shows up bloody footprints.” ( Alfred Hitchcock)
Ole Marius Joergensen’s series ‘Icy Blondes’ – capturing with cinematic aesthetics the dramatic tension of mystery in the distant portraits of the icy remote blondes inspired by Hitchcock’s iconic female characters from his most famous films.
“The well-know US film critic Roger Ebert observed that Alfred Hitchcock’s leading ladies, ‘reflected the same qualities over and over again. They were blonde. They were icy and remote. They were imprisoned in costumes that subtly combined fashion and fetishism. They mesmerized the men, who often had physical or psychological handicaps.”
Christopher Russell‘s ‘The Explorers’ – with an abstract approach to the genre of landscape, via scratching, drawings and painting, a series that transforms Carleton Watkins’ vision of the Columbia River Gorge into a luminous transcendent experience.
The title is inspired from the transformative role of technology and scientific knowledge upon people’s imaginaries and primitive fears, and especially the photography and the new way it offered to conceive the reality and the sense of wonder it evokes to the mind in a quest of answers to the constant questions what new it might hold.
Christopher Russell – The Explorers
“When I photograph in the Columbia Gorge, the same area that held Watkins attention 160 years prior, I fuck up the image before the light even hits the lens, resulting in images that are fuzzy, hazy, or just intellectually negotiable. I use that ambiguity as a starting point for my own imaginary vistas… And these are explorations, given the breadth of knowledge facing an artist in the 21st century, this is a way of asking what’s more.”
Samuel Zeller‘s series ‘Botanical’ – soft, blurry impressions of exotic plants seen through the translucent glass of greenhouses throughout Europe, with a bit of inspiration from Claude Monet, August Renoir and Gustave Caillebotte. By capturing a refracted reality, these images reveal the painterly beauty and a rare serenity of such hidden gardens found in the heart of each city.
“I’ve always enjoyed going to museums, and I developed an attraction for painting, specifically Impressionist ones. In my personal and mostly abstract work I aim to give something for the viewer to interpret without giving away the subject instantly. I’d like to inspire people to love art more, to visit museums, to admire painters, artists and most importantly to dream more. Photography for me isn’t just about capturing reality, it’s also about giving the viewer a bit of a recipe to help them see the world differently.” (Rucksack Magazine)
Jitske Schols’ series ‘Songs for soprano’, etude #1 – landscapes and portraits as an imaginary journey back to the 19th century devoted to the life of Anna Witsen and her tragic death.
Jitske Schols – Songs for soprano
Anna Witsen was a sister of the famous Dutch painter and photographer Willem Witsen and lived with their family in a beautiful estate in the country. For unknown reasons, the young woman put an end to her life in 1889, drowning in the pond of Ewijckshoeve.
The artist visited the site where the tragedy took place in searching for answers and “presumed that the basis for her self-chosen death may lie in the fact that she was not ‘seen’ by anyone.” (Galerie Caroline O’Breen)
However, because she also grew up at the same estate having such a great time there, new questions around the concept of duality emerged – how the same peaceful landscape could be a surrounding for lovely memory of her own happy childhood years and a place for such a terrible incident?
Mária Švarbová’s on-going series ‘The pool’ – in search of the symmetry between humans and space in enigmatic compositions with geometric beauty of minimalistic retro setting and cinematographic pastel quality, where the absence of contrasts removes narrative dimension.
The sceneries were captured in different old pools, built in the Socialist Era in various locations in Slovakia. These huge cold places with white tiles and figures of swimmers immobilized in time and mirroring upside down, suggest an idea of lost individuality in a sterile futuristic future. However, the vibrations of soft color palette and the harmonious reflections in the calm waters hint that dreams are not lost.