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Landscape in my Mind - Painting with the Camera

Category: Exhibition 11. February 2015

A landscape is an arrangement of interrelated locations, an interpretable text, temporality, history, narration. Nature is always superposed by assigned meanings, and the intellect is eternally ensnared in this self-spun webbing of meanings.
There is no archetypical nature that would prevent us from identifying a “real” nature: landscapes are cognitive constructs, historical notions, with a limited spatial and temporal validity. The decision for a certain section of the perceived reality transforms the surroundings into a landscape picture. A landscape does not necessarily have to be experienced directly; it can be present as an ideal image in the mind.
Landscape in my mind: The conception of landscape and how our mind constructs an image of a landscape is always influenced by historical circumstances.
The reproduction of landscapes had always been the domain of painting; however, photography now is on a par with painting as far as its status is concerned, being just as capable of fiction and metaphorical imaging of the outside world.

At the end of the day we cannot get a hold of reality. Whenever we represent a landscape, we cannot but make a statement about the difference between existence and perception.
The sign system of the image shows a scene as well as it shows the gaze of the artist - from a unique viewpoint, being taken by an artist with his brush or camera, as an endlessly subjective world in a captured moment.
Either on purpose or by chance, the infringements and fractures of the natural or urban landscape are integrated into the emotional landscape of memory. By a semantic shift, these elements are transformed into a suggestive and personal pictorial cartography, by a process that undoubtedly implies a re-invention of nature.

The exhibition in the Bank Austria Kunstforum in Vienna, created as an expedition and pictorial journey by curator Florian Steininger, arranged by thematic sectors („The picturesque view“, „Metropolis“, „Mission to Mars“..) shows photography going beyond mere documentation, also by means of manual or digital retouching. There are works of renowned contemporary photographers like disciples of the Düsseldorf School Elger Esser and Axel Hütte, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky or Jörg Sasse as well as Olaf Otto Becker, Walter Niedermayr, the Austrians Margherita Spiluttini and Julie Monaco, and Frank Thiel or Hamish Fulton.
The landscape of the outside world does not really need to be discovered, the real uncharted territories are found within, where outer and inner landscapes coincide, merging the concrete with the unseizable, the ideal with the image. Images emerge, as a result of precise observation, intuitive experimentation and the elimination of the irrelevant, images that match the reality in our mind much more than “real” nature. (written by Cem Angeli)

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