Rita Erven // Painting
In my paintings and drawings I want to store my personal moods and feelings, hoping that they also tell something universal. Maybe the feelings of the observer by looking at my canvases are more or less different from mine, but I hope he is personally touched. I began painting people in small groups or as couples, nevertheless they seemed to be lonely. The single woman or man on the paintings I did after the »team« series often appear less isolated—they enter into a dialogue with the viewer of the painting, because of their straight glance. 2006 and 2010 I spend my summers in an artist residence in Mecklenburg, in this wide landscape with groves in the north of Germany. Since then the number of paintings of woods and trees in my work is slowly grown. Since 2014 I do them in larger format. My canvases show more the feeling of a landscape than an image of it. Like the figurative works, they also express my moods and feelings, but in a more universal sense. My paintings of woods convey a sense of loneliness, suspicion of transience and an uncertain longing, especially the night views. Some of them appear more peaceful and calm. For me, most of them encompass all those feelings at the same time. The possibility to phrase opposite feelings simultaneously is what I like most about painting or drawing.
Gregor Kuhlenbäumer // Photography
Photography has been and is seen as an index, a trace, the “pencil of nature” as HF Talbot expressed it. Robert Adams wrote as late as 1996: “Photography’s abrupt rise also has to do, I suspect, with our distrust of language….”
The advent of digital imaging destroyed the – anyway unwarranted - notion that photography faithfully reports what has been. This lead some to postulate that “photography is dead” just as it had been postulated that “painting is dead” after the invention of photography.
The insight that it can’t be and could never be the medium in which one trusts – be it words or pictures – but only the narrator, was long overdue.
In this sense I believe that there are still stories to tell, worlds to explore, history to preserve in whatever medium appears adequate.
In short: Photography is still as good as ever a medium able to refer to and report about the real world filtered in space and time.
“no ideas but in things” ?