»ECLIPSE (a selection)«
Opening: Friday, November 25, 2016, 19h
Exhibition: November 26, 2016 – February 25, 2017
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 12-18h, and by appointment
The gallery Podbielski Contemporary shows from 25th November 2016 to 25th February 2017 the photographer Andréas Lang with the exhibition “Eclipse (a selection)”.
Selected works form Lang’s series “Eclipse” will be shown: Portraits of Near East’s landscapes – in Syria, Israel, Palestine, Egypt and Turkey.
“The past is a concept central to Andréas Lang’s work. One might also say history. Or recollection. Quite deliberately, he seeks out places that harbour memories – not always visible, sign-posted or evident. And yet they are places of history, topographies that contain history even when masquerading as nature. Lang tracks them down with his camera. Not, however, in any sense of documentation. It is the spirit of a place that Lang explores, recording the – in actual fact – unphotographable , transforming mood into tangible pictures, which thoroughly in the spirit of a Romantic concept of art – may also reflect one’s own state of mind. What we actuallt encounter in Andréas Lang is more of a quiet, thoughtful contemporary, for whom literature, philosophy or history are more likely to offer orientation than the much-vaunted trends of postmodern photography. Lang sees the problems of our world against the background of a past that is anything but glorious. For him, taking photographs is a kind of contemplation in pictures. Lang asks question and if his answers, mutated into photography, turn out to be cryptic in the extreme, this is also part of a concept that gradually began to take shape in the middle of the nineties.
Where does Europe end? In Portugal, or, after all, in New York, the most western outpost of European thinking? On the Bosporus or, after all, in the Holy Land, without whose Jewish- Christian tradition European civilisation would be quite simply unthinkable. Admittedly, the Crusades of the 11th century were not the first link between medieval Europe and the Near East. But the idea of “Holy Wars” has had a lasting impact on peoples’ thinking and the fact that international terrorism today legitimises itself by means of a “Jihad” announced via satellite only illustrates the explosiveness of this “model”, even in our times. Presaging the First Crusade (1095) celestial portents, comets, a solar eclipse are supposed to have announced the end of the world. And it was a solar eclipse predicted for 2006 that prompted Andréas Lang to continue his photographic reconnaissance of locations immersed in history, treading the same paths as the early Christians and Crusaders. But “eclipse” not only stands for an astronomical phenomenon. It also stands for the half-light of the Middle Ages which, for Lang, once again finds its counterpart in a pictorial language that emphasises the dark. In 2006 and 2007, the photographer’s travels took him to the Near East, to Turkey, to Syria, Israel and Palestine, following in the footsteps of the Crusaders, recording their traces manifested in the stone: again, not in the sense of illustration or documentation but as an attempt to visualise something of the (irrational) spirit of the time. In Lang’s black and white photograph the Crac des Chevalier looks like extraterrestrial spaceship that has just landed, and to the Muslims at the time, the first Crusaders must ideed have appeared like ironclad creatures from another planet. Let us spare ourselves a list of the atrocities committed on both sides. What is more important is the spiritual horizon against which imperial ideas arise and spread. (…)
(…) At first glance Lang seems mainly to confirm our idea of the “Dark Ages”. In continuing his cycle, however, by taking photographs of landscapes in the Israel of today or of the everyday life of the Palestinians, he underscores the subject’s topicality. And this time he uses colour as a signal of his desire to take issue with a present that is anything but peaceful. The centuries of religious and cultural conflict – where will it all lead? There is one absurd picture of a signpost punctuated with a question mark. Do we know? We do not.”
(Extract from the essay of H.M Koetzle, München 2008, Katalog “Andréas Lang – Eclipse” , Hrsg. W.J Stock, Galerie Dt. Gesellschaft für christliche Kunst e.V.)
In my work I reveal the different layers of history, mythology and the present, to create a narrative image. A form of visual archaeology, at times blending or colliding with immanent social, political and ecological realities. In this way the picture becomes also a place for the imaginary and projection. It appears like a film set, pending in a limbo somewhere between reality and imagination, past and present. I most work analogue and with classic film material.” (Andréas Lang)
Andréas Lang received the Artist in Residence grant awarded by the German Federal Foreign Ministry and LVBG – Landesverband Berliner Galerien. The artist, who was awarded several times for his works, is shown at the moment in two solo-exhibitions: The Deutsches Historisches Museum shows until February 2017 “Kameroon and Kongo. In search of traces and Phantom Geography of Andréas Lang” and the Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung presents until 23th December 2016 “THE AMAZED SILENCE. Landscapes of Andréas Lang”.
Related features on PiB:
Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation | »The Amazed Silence« Landscapes of Andréas Lang
Exhibition: September 10 – December 23, 2016