Tatiana Gulenkina – Things Merging and Falling Apart
Tatiana Gulenkina’s ‘Things Merging and Falling Apart’ – series of colourful abstract photograms in an attempt of keeping a moment of ephemeral state while observing a process of transformation of fragile organic objects, in a way of portraying the notion that images can only capture a part of what they represent.
“At some point, I realized that it’s more of a collaboration between me and my subjects since they became active participants in this process. Instead of imitating the illumination and depicting formal qualities, these images challenge the expectations and capture the light itself; they bring viewers’ attention to the performative nature of creative process and elaborate on chance effects and intuitive states of being…Essentially, even the sharpest, most beautifully composed glossy image fails to represent reality because it’s trying to hold on to something that’s impossible to grasp.”
Tatiana Gulenkina – Things Merging and Falling Apart
Mat Hennek‘s ‘Sounds of Spheres’ – ongoing project since 2003 in searching of secret links among different elements on earth as a part of celestial musical composition incorporated in the harmony of the cosmos, inspired by the Pythagorean concept of the music of the spheres.
Pythagoras proposed that the Sun, Moon and the planets (only the five planets known by that time – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn), all emit their own unique hum based on their orbital revolution, and that the quality of life on Earth reflects the tenor of celestial sounds which are physically imperceptible to the human ear.
“All living beings produce sounds, just like the planets in the universe: a symphony that we hear only if we become attentive, if we keep our ears open down by the wet grass or up near the clouds. Then these sounds resonate, reaching the cavities of the human heart, and everything falls into its rightful place.”
Anne Charlotte Guinot’s series ‘Red Blood’ (Sangre Rojo) – a powerful series of beautiful landscapes in Mexico tainted with red symbolizing blood, in questioning the hidden contradiction of human nature, though shaped and infused by the magic of a given scenery, yet is capable of extreme and inexplicable violence.
Anne Charlotte Guinot – Red Blood
The series refers to a sudden disappearance of 43 male students from the Rural Teachers’ College in Ayotzinapa, a small Mexican village, in September 2014. The reason for their kidnapping remains unclear as well as their destiny. Only two of them have been identified up to date, while the rest are still missing.
“People (in Mexico) are incredibly sweet and nice, but there is also a lot of contrasts… At first, it looks perfectly normal, but if you open your heart, you know it is not… If your gather each of my pictures titles, you will end up with the name AYOTZINAPA. The 43 may be gone, but they will not be forgotten”.
Bas Meeuws’ still lifes works ‘Flower by Flower’ – capturing the passage of time in polished compositions via layered photography, to glorify the timeless beauty to everyday life inspired by the traditional old Dutch masters vision about transience and mortality.
“Flowers are the ideal objects… In nature flowers seduce bees and other insects with colour, scent and unusual shapes and since the very beginning of history, they have had this effect on people as well.” Intrigued especially by their function in 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age, the artist tries to summon up the feeling that the people looking at the picture then would have had. “The bouquets in the paintings were impossible constructions of flowers from different seasons. I want to pursue this element of the genre. It gives you the opportunity to work outside of time, to make time stand still… The awe that they must have felt for all the expensive and exotic flowers together.”
Inspired by the poem ‘Amaze’ by the American poet Adelaide Crapsey (1878–1914), Cooper & Gorfer’s series ‘I Know Not These My Hands’ navigates through the ubiquitous traces a troubled history leaves on the human mind and speaks of the aspects of love, loss and layers of identity. The role of hands that play in the project is as a symbol of the deeds you have done or maybe you have not …
“Based on a comprehensive research travel to northwestern Argentina, we map memory and investigate questions of identity and displacement through chance encounters, interviews and photographic meetings with people from different levels within the Argentinian society and adjacent lands. Reflections on colonial wounds, forced migration, and more recent political turmoil surface throughout the project.”
Cooper & Gorfer – I Know Not These My Hands
Cooper & Gorfer comprises the artists Sarah Cooper (b. 1974, USA) and Nina Gorfer (b. 1979, Austria) and for more details about them and their project, watch this video.
The series is published in a book by Kehrer Verlag.
Florian Ruiz’s series ‘The White Contamination’ – portraying the landscape around Fukushima as a poignant photographic reflection of the fleeting moments, the unexpected, the fortuitous, and the deformed, in a multiple reality through a process of assembly, collage and super impression, and by challenging the ability of photography to put in image the invisible danger of the radioactivity.
Florian Ruiz – The White Contamination
“Nature has an essential place in my current work; it is the place where radioactivity accumulates the most… Inspired by traditional Japanese engravings and the German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich who seeks to give a spiritual dimension to his paintings. “The painter must not paint only what he sees in front of him, but also what he sees in him”. I wanted to make the landscape accessible to the expression of the Sublime even if it’s contaminated by radioactivity… Japan maintains a strong cultural relationship with nature, loaded with Buddhist notions emphasizing the reality of a world where the only thing certain is the impermanence of all things.”
Florian Ruiz – The White Contamination
Why in ‘white’? The artist replies with a quote from Herman Melville’s ‘Moby Dick’, Chapter 42: The Whiteness of the Whale “…yet for all these accumulated associations, with whatever is sweet, and honorable, and sublime, there yet lurks an elusive something in the innermost idea of this hue, which strikes more of panic to the soul than that redness which affrights in blood.“
Jamey Stillings’ series ‘The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar’ – a three-and-a-half year aerial exploration of transformative interactions between natural forms and human activity, questioning our perceptions of land and resource use, and our uncertain path toward a sustainable future.
The Ivanpah Solar is one of the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant built in the Mojave Desert of California and the artist caught in striking graphic black-and-white photographs all the stages before the construction works commenced in October 2010 until its finish in February 2014.
Jamey Stillings – The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar
The series is published in a photo book by Steidl and is a part of a larger long-term documentary work titled “Changing Perspectives,” focusing on the global state of renewable energy development.
“It is the “invisible world”, hidden behind the “visible” that I have been working to capture…
One day in early autumn in 2001, just as twilight was setting in, I had lost track of the mountain paths. I happened to wander into a shady forest, where I found myself suddenly seized with a strong desire to take photographs. The following day, I set out once again, carrying my camera with me this time, and searched for the same forest. This experience made me realize that I was not taking photographs of the forest out of my own will, but that the forest was inducing me to take its photographs.”
Cope and Arnold’s project ‘Stamen’ – dreamy still lifes created by flower arrangements subjected to chemical substances to explore the dual character of nature as giving birth and the subsequent death, and the circle of life of fleeting beauty. The series is inspired by the abstract photography and resembles romantic oil paintings of the 19th century.
“A very New World thing combined with an Old World thing like paintings of flower arrangements… The act of bathing and submersion is the very first in the process of physical and psychological cleansing; it signifies the beginning of the death and rebirth of the self. Through this process we sought to create images which reflect stasis, conflict and surrender between these opposing forces.”
“From the zealous geometry of the garden at Versailles to the cloud-pruning of trees and shrubs in traditional Japanese gardens, these various forms of cultivation reveals a delicate equilibrium, collaboration, and occasionally a collision of culture and nature. Many formal gardens in the U.S. and their stylistic precedents in Europe and Asia exhibit strong design qualities including clipped shrubs, ordered paths and controlled views using natural materials to communicate a cultural message. While these traditions grew out of a particular cultural context, their styles have been embraced by people in vastly different times and places. This practice of designing, domesticating and improving upon nature reveals simultaneously our distance from and longing for the natural, depending on the cultural lens from which it is viewed”.