Christiane Feser: Nachbilder
Nov 16 – Dec 17, 2022
A trace of something you have seen,
something you can see even though the thing itself is already gone.
Christiane Feser creates three-dimensional photographic based work that challenges our perception of dimension and perspective. With Nachbilder, Feser has created a suite of three works based on a hand drawn grid with nuances of light and shadow and pattern. What at first seems to be perspectival and to follow a pattern is revealed as something that doesn’t follow the rules of perspective or any order. What seems to have depth is sometimes flat and what seems flat sometimes has dimension. What seems mechanically made and perfect is full of texture, process marks and imperfection. The works are therefore about both photography and sculpture. They are simultaneously images and objects that play with flatness and depth, and engage with histories of the photograph as a physical thing in space.
Each work in Nachbilder starts with a drawing of a grid with shaded squares. Feser distorts the paper from a flat plane into a sort of topography. The shading suggest dimension but it doesn’t always follow the dimension of the distortions. In addition, Feser lights it, creating shadows that complicates our perception of the shading as drawing or part of the shadow or both. Feser photographs the assemblage, thus flattening the sculptural object through the act of photography. She makes two prints of the image. One print on thin translucent Japanese paper is mounted with distance on the other print of the same image on regular weight Hahnemühle fine art paper. This reconstitutes a physical dimension in a new way by turning the photograph into a relief sculpture. Feser further confounds the rules of optics by cutting out some of the squares in the thin top layer. The “holes” appear sharper since there is no thin translucent layer of image. Depending upon how the piece is lit, the “holes” also create shadows that change with the light. Though each of the three works is created in an edition of 5, each piece is unique because the process creates variations.
Feser was born in Würzburg, Germany in 1977 and studied photography at the Offenbach University of Art and Design. She had a solo exhibition at Opelvillen, Rüsselsehim, Germany in 2019 and was included in the exhibition Cut! Paper Play in Contemporary Photography at The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA in 2018. Other museum exhibitions include the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Firenze, Italy; the Mönchehaus Museum, Goslar, Germany; Frankfurter Kunstverein and the Museum for Konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt, Germany. Her work is in the public collections of Brown University, DZ Bank Art Collection, J. Paul Getty Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Foundation Juan March, Fotografische Sammlung Schloss Kummerow, Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, Mönchehaus Museum, Zentrum für Kunst und Medien.