Helen Sear’s series ‘Inside The View’ (2004-2008) – merging digitally picturesque landscapes and portraits of rear female heads facing them, with layers of delicate drawings as covered by lace veils, in a kind of double metaphysical game of perceiving reality as an unit of ‘before, within and behind’ – a contemplative state of being for the subject and a seductive romance for the viewer.
“I am trying to slow down the instantaneousness of the camera“
Michael Koerner’s series ‘Tendrilles’ – one of the beautiful abstract tintypes driven by a tremendous amount of pain in his family history in imagining the infinite possibilities of genetics if something could have been done differently or avoided.
The artist’s mother, Kimiko Takaki, was eleven years old on August 9, 1945, when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Due to genetic abnormalities and cancer, the tragedy of losing a beloved relative was a constant tragedy in the family.
Jacob Kirkegaard’s project ‘Nagaras’ – capturing momentary visual fragments of millions of sand grains which in joint rapid movement create a rare sonic phenomenon ‘The Singing Sands’.
“Nagaras (“drum”) aims to portray a rare phenomenon that exists in very few deserts around the world. At times, some sand dunes in these deserts can produce deep mysterious humming sounds. The phenomenon is known as the Singing Sands or Booming Dunes. Over the last thousand years the phenomenon has been described by travelers, most famously by Marco Polo. “Nagaras” is a word which by several travelers was used to describe the phenomenon.”
Rebecca Reeve’s project ‘Marjory’s World’ – landscapes framed in conceptual windows by locally purchased curtains as visual portals from the familiar to new territories of the wilderness and a memento of the earthly paradise into our ethereal souls.
Rebecca Reeve – Marjory’s World
“The concept of the series draws inspiration from a ritual described in the book The Rings of Saturn by W. G. Sebald. In Holland in the 1600s, during the wake of the deceased, it was customary to cover all mirrors, landscape paintings and portraits in the home with cloths. It was believed this would make it easier for the soul to leave the body and subdue any temptations for it to stay in this world. The ritual seemed, by extension, to be a confirmation of the deeply moving experience that one often feels in the natural environment and provided both a literal and contextual frame within which to shoot the landscape, a portal from the domestic into the wilderness.”
“Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object.” – John Berger, Ways of Seeing
Christa Blackwood’s series ‘Naked lady: A dot red’ – hand-pulled photogravures to defy traditional genres and images found in landscape and portrait photography, and by replacing the idea of “the figure” with the symbol of a red dot to create new perspectives on these traditions.
“The vernacular image of the ‘figure’ in a landscape is modified to examine the commodification and ubiquitous use of the female form in art and culture.”
Karolin Klüppel’s series ‘Mädchenland’ (2013 – 2015) – powerful story with contemplative aesthetic about a rare phenomenon in our contemporary world – a kingdom of girls who hold all the power.
“In the state of Meghalaya in India, the indigenous people of the Khasi with 1,1 million members form the majority of the population. The Khasi are a matrilineal society. Here, traditionally it is the girls who are of particularly importance and who play an exposed role in the family. The line of succession passes through the youngest daughter. If she marries, her husband is taken into her family‘s house, and the children take their mother‘s name… I tried to capture the girls as the strong personalities they are. Just because they’re not smiling for the camera doesn’t mean they are unhappy. It is the same for adults, isn’t it?”
Jacques Pugin’s series ‘Blue Mountain‘ (1995–1998) – Switzerland’s landmark, the majestic Matterhorn, in mixing its raw landscape beauty by adding painting, straight lines, curves, shadows and light, to “correct nature’ and create a new dynamic composition of dreams and nightmares in the blue realm of the twilight.
Jacques Pugin – Blue Mountain
“The mountains of Pugin are like Russian dolls, intertwined with each other, strangely similar and yet different, but all redesigned with a maniacal care, recomposed and colored in the manner of a painting… By working on his volumes, reshaping his contours, giving him the thousand and one nuances of the night, Jacques Pugin shows us what we usually do not see: a play of forces and lights, hidden symmetries, shadows that speak or are prolonged, an alphabet of signs that must be learned to decipher.” (Jean-Michel Olivier)
Kenryou Gu’s series ‘Wu-Mai’ – a contemporary version of Chinese traditional landscape paintings inspired by the specific beauty of air pollution.
“In Chinese there is a word called “Wu-Mai” referring as the same meaning as smog. The word originally means the storm caused by sand or dust… Sensing from this harmful yet purely white air, it’s almost like the flowing of time in a Chinese traditional landscape painting…This project started from 4 years ago as a continuous series, I still remember at that time a lot of naive thoughts from people regarding to the “Wu-Mai”. However as the time passes by, people including myself has few concern about “Wu-Mai”. It is not even about how the environment effects on our health, we have became numb towards this issue and continue our lives as nothing have happened.”
Continuing to explore relationships with time, beauty and destruction, in this series the artist focused his interest to visualize sound waves with paint. After a careful selection of dynamic music in all genre — Miles Davis, Grace Jone, Pink Floyd, Prince, Carl Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’ or Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ – he splattered different colored paint on top of a speaker over some translucent material. Then turned it on to full volume. The vibrations of the speaker threw up high the paint creating interesting sculptures and with shutter speed of 1/7,000th of a second, Klimas captured them. It took him 6 months and about 1,000 shots. The total amount of paint used on the project was 18.5 gallons for 212 final printed images.
Fascinated by self-organizing systems in nature such as termite mounds, swarming locusts, schooling fish and flocking birds, the artist mimicked their behavour. By constructing installations in his studio from unexpected materials found in chosen locations, and then returning back to photograph them, he shows not how we humans impose our will to nature, but how nature imposes its will on our stuff.
“By placing them where they seem least to belong, I aim to tweak the margins of our visual vocabulary and to invite fresh interpretations of everyday things.”