Window exhibition (open 24/7) + visits by appointment!
MCLAUGHLIN Gallery is very pleased to present the first exhibition of Elmar Haardt under the title INFINITE NOW. As an extension of INDEX Berlin’s SUNDAY OPEN Lights On! initiative, MCLAUGHLIN will leave the lights on in the gallery for all visitors throughout February. You are thus welcome to view the exhibition at any time through the gallery’s large windows – in accordance with current regulations for the containment of the Corona/COVID-19 pandemic. A QR code on the window will take you directly to information about the works and the artist.
The exhibition takes place in cooperation with the gallery DIE GANZE FREIHEIT, which presents the second part of the exhibition at Greifswalder Str. 218 in Berlin (Prenzlauer Berg).
Elmar Haardt’s work is about the question of the moment and the truth in our perception of the world, about the borderline between our dreams and reality. For the series Land of Dreams, begun in 2017, Haardt traveled several times to the United States to take novel photographs of reality in the Land of Unlimited Possibilities, which are not visible to the human eye in this form. By stringing together and superimposing a multitude of digitized analog large-format slides, Haardt constructs a pin-sharp panoramic image at every point, which, through the condensation of the image information, conveys an almost infinite clear view beyond the horizon. Through this multi- level alienation of the image, he creates a hyperreality. Through his works, Haardt stretches and compresses our perception of time, expanding our understanding of the now. The individual slides are taken over a period of about 10 minutes and fused into a final image. The time window compressed in this way forms a timewarp that is held in the final work indefinitely – and therefore infinite. Haardt thus illustrates the transformation of reality in our perception, which is expanded by ubiquitous digital images.
The total of seven large-scale photographic works show views of Brooklyn, NY; San Francisco, CA; Aspen, CO; Las Vegas NV; Runyon Canyon, CA; New York, NY; and Carrara in Italy at both locations. For his photographs, Elmar Haardt usually chooses motifs of well-known cities and places of longing such as New York or Las Vegas, but shows them from a personal, new and artistic point of view.
With the exhibition INFINITE NOW, Elmar Haardt explores the fundamental question: „How real is reality?“ Between dream, illusion, digital alienation and hyperreality, the boundaries of the image dissolve. Like a daydream shifter, our gaze travels magically fascinated into the image.
With his hyper-realistic landscape paintings, Haardt creates a pictorial effect of „having to look“ and „being drawn in“ that is reminiscent of the painterly aesthetics of key works by Caspar David Friedrich, such as „The Wanderer above the Sea of Fog“ (1818) or „The Monk by the Sea“ (1808/1810). Haardt thus gives a new form to the traditional landscape painting. Just as travel photographers and naturalists in the 19th century once traveled the world with large cameras and gave people an image of the world that made them marvel, so we marvel at his new way of looking at familiar places.
In the series Land of Dreams, in addition to the particular perspective on familiar places, there is also a socio-critical undertone of change, of the perpetual struggle between nature and civilization, between development and destruction. As in the work Brooklyn, NY, 2018, in which one looks from Williamsburg toward Manhattan, and almost thinks one hears the gentrification roller rolling ceaselessly over the city. Or in San Francisco, CA, 2018, with its sea of stacking architectural housing structures, comparable to the overlapping ice floes in Caspar David Friedrich’s famous work „The Sea of Ice“ (1824), in which the viewer hardly dares to breathe between awe, beauty and horror at the moment of the actual state. Haardt shows images of today’s USA that present us with a future desert of humanity of exemplary urban sprawl and land sealing as in the work Las Vegas, NV, 2018. The sharpness of detail allows our gaze to quickly linger on the small details of the images. Until we take five steps back and see the big picture in a new way, and become aware of the symbolic power of the images and their monumentality.
Elmar Haardt’s works are an experience that gently gets under your skin and strives to linger there for a long time.
Elmar Haardt, born in Essen in 1974, first studied Empirical Cultural Studies and American Studies in Tübingen and European Ethnology, Sociology and Philosophy at the Humboldt University in Berlin, before devoting himself entirely to the study of photography from 2003.
Haardt, who has always had a special interest in the United States, has created a significant number of photo series in Germany, Switzerland, and China over the past nearly 20 years, always going beyond documenting the location. His work has been shown repeatedly in Germany as well as internationally in Switzerland, the United States and Japan. With solo exhibitions at Galerie Jarmuschek+Partner in Berlin, and Karin Wimmer in Munich, among others, as well as exhibition participations at Zeche Zollverein, Essen, Museum für Kommunikation, Berlin, Kunsthalle Memmingen, or at NRW Forum together with Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth and Thomas Demand, Elmar Haardt has confirmed his significant position as one of the most important contemporary German art photographers. His works are represented in the collections of the Pinakothek der Moderne, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen Munich, and Fotostiftung Schweiz in Winterthur, among others. Elmar Haardt lives and works in Berlin.
The exhibition INFINITE NOW takes place in cooperation with DIE GANZE FREIHEIT, Greifswalder Str. 218, 10405 Berlin, where another four large-scale works by Elmar Haardt can be viewed.
Throughout February, the exhibition at MCLAUGHLIN Gallery can be viewed through the window 24 hours a day.