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Oliver Boberg Schatten

Oliver Boberg Schatten

L.A. Galerie Lothar Albrecht zeigt: Oliver Boberg Schatten / Shadows 10. Juni — 26. August 2017

 

Oliver Boberg Shadows Since the mid-1990s, Oliver Boberg has devoted himself to the reality of the photographic image – both behind and in front of the camera, as the reality that appears in his photographs also is his own creation and composition. In each case, the output is a perfectly modeled and photographed illusion. The viewer is entrusted with this illusion, and left with their never-wavering faith in photography as the self-evident reproduction of reality. Through the years, Oliver Boberg has consistently held on to this image-model constellation. The nüchtern-sachlichen Orte/Places of the 1990s were followed by the poetic pictures of the Himmel/Sky series in 2000; the oppressive Slums (2009/10) gave way to the lightboxes of the surreal Schächte/Shafts series (2014/15). The artist, however, is not concerned about how far he can carry the illusion in his pictures through technical means, but about the effect this has on the viewer. The effect, to be sure, goes far beyond debunking the photographic image as an illusion, as fake reality – because a multitude of realities are actually at work in Oliver Boberg’s pictures. This becomes particularly apparent in his latest series, Shadows, which he has been working on since 2015. There are no real-life models for the sites pictured here. Rather, they are derivatives of the associations we have of, say, a back alley, a rear courtyard or a private path. Sometimes it is the hint of a tree that casts the shadow, sometimes the roof of an adjacent building; in Shadows 8, the sunlight is reflected on a Seitengasse/Side Alley by opposing windows. In the course of the series, from Hinterhofwand/Backyard Wall (Shadows 1) to Privatweg/Private Path (Shadows 10), the interplay of light and shadow becomes ever more nuanced and complex. Compared with Oliver Boberg’s previous series, there is a pronounced painterly quality in these most recent works of his. The shadows are a crucial player to this effect. It almost seems as if each shadow was created specifically for the respective location. And in a way, it was. The ideas for the pictures originated in the artist’s head, the models in his studio; photographing took place outdoors, however. “Everything in these pictures is fake, but the sun,” says Oliver Boberg. The sun, like the respective provider of shade, lies outside of the pictorial space. This lends a new quality to Boberg’s work – behind and in front of the camera, but even more so in the picture itself. Because the shadow cannot be captured. It is immaterial and projected into the picture, as it were; at the same time it leads the viewer’s projection beyond the pictorial space. Thus, while in the preceding Shafts series Oliver Boberg seemed to carve out his sites from darkness to entrust them to the viewers’ imagination, his Shadows secretly point towards the sun. A beautiful image – and so much more than an illusion. Ralf Christofori (translated by Simone Schede)

29.05.2017 08:44

Oliver Boberg Schatten

 

 

Oliver Boberg Schatten 

L.A. Galerie Lothar Albrecht zeigt: Oliver Boberg Schatten / Shadows 10. Juni — 26. August 2017

 

Oliver Boberg Shadows Since the mid-1990s, Oliver Boberg has devoted himself to the reality of the photographic image – both behind and in front of the camera, as the reality that appears in his photographs also is his own creation and composition. In each case, the output is a perfectly modeled and photographed illusion. The viewer is entrusted with this illusion, and left with their never-wavering faith in photography as the self-evident reproduction of reality. Through the years, Oliver Boberg has consistently held on to this image-model constellation. The nüchtern-sachlichen Orte/Places of the 1990s were followed by the poetic pictures of the Himmel/Sky series in 2000; the oppressive Slums (2009/10) gave way to the lightboxes of the surreal Schächte/Shafts series (2014/15). The artist, however, is not concerned about how far he can carry the illusion in his pictures through technical means, but about the effect this has on the viewer. The effect, to be sure, goes far beyond debunking the photographic image as an illusion, as fake reality – because a multitude of realities are actually at work in Oliver Boberg’s pictures. This becomes particularly apparent in his latest series, Shadows, which he has been working on since 2015. There are no real-life models for the sites pictured here. Rather, they are derivatives of the associations we have of, say, a back alley, a rear courtyard or a private path. Sometimes it is the hint of a tree that casts the shadow, sometimes the roof of an adjacent building; in Shadows 8, the sunlight is reflected on a Seitengasse/Side Alley by opposing windows. In the course of the series, from Hinterhofwand/Backyard Wall (Shadows 1) to Privatweg/Private Path (Shadows 10), the interplay of light and shadow becomes ever more nuanced and complex. Compared with Oliver Boberg’s previous series, there is a pronounced painterly quality in these most recent works of his. The shadows are a crucial player to this effect. It almost seems as if each shadow was created specifically for the respective location. And in a way, it was. The ideas for the pictures originated in the artist’s head, the models in his studio; photographing took place outdoors, however. “Everything in these pictures is fake, but the sun,” says Oliver Boberg. The sun, like the respective provider of shade, lies outside of the pictorial space. This lends a new quality to Boberg’s work – behind and in front of the camera, but even more so in the picture itself. Because the shadow cannot be captured. It is immaterial and projected into the picture, as it were; at the same time it leads the viewer’s projection beyond the pictorial space. Thus, while in the preceding Shafts series Oliver Boberg seemed to carve out his sites from darkness to entrust them to the viewers’ imagination, his Shadows secretly point towards the sun. A beautiful image – and so much more than an illusion. Ralf Christofori (translated by Simone Schede)