“Flotsam//waterplants” is a series that captures the complex natural beauty and movement of flowers and plants when exposed to the elements of moving water, in particular the subtlety in their structure, texture and form.
Constantly drawn back to using plants and flowers in my work, I wanted to strip back and simplify from my previous work and let the flowers speak for themselves, as though I am taking their portraits. The added element of water was initially a way to highlight the natural forms, colors and textures.”
Photographer Gunter Pfannmüller along with writer Wilhelm Klein were the first photojournalists allowed into Burma in 1980. With the help of a photography portrait studio that they created, for over 35 years they have been photographing the country’s different ethnic groups. As a consequence, the project ‘In search of dignity‘ was produced, selling over a million copies and printed in 12 languages.
“The relationship between the photography and human dignity has always been ambivalent. Precisely when meeting what we Europeans consider exotic, the inquiring camera all too frequently destroys what it seeks to capture: the uniqueness of each individual. Treading this fine line can only succeed in an atmosphere that establishes closeness while maintaining distance. With a delicate feel for the details that visually manifest personality. And, not least, with the patience to trust the right moment.”
The project is available as photo book in English and German editions.
“When looking at the prints from a distance, one could define the works as paintings. When looking at the work up-close, one discovers various clues, that define it as photograph. The final work as well as the process of creation merges the characteristics of the two media with the help of chemistry. By capturing the process with a camera, Oefner records compositions, which only exist for a few seconds. ”
“I prefer remote and rugged places, mountainous terrain and desert. I love to find people who can manage to survive in these places, to discover and record their ancient way of life before they are changed by the modern era. By interacting closely with the native people there, I’m able to learn about and document their unique ways of life involving a deep connection to the rhythms of nature”