Light and photography are inextricably linked. But completely different positions can be taken in the process. One artist builds an illusory reality in the studio with artificial light. And another tries to capture the light in nature for a faithful representation of the sensory impression. In this duo exhibition, two photographers show everyone’s commitment through their specific use of light.
Vincent van Gaalen (NL 1984) graduated from the KABK in The Hague in 2011. For his project ‘Absence’ he travels to the last dark areas of Europe where the nightly darkness has not (yet) been replaced by artificial light. Amidst this darkness – surrounded only by his photographic equipment, a tent, and some provisions Van Gaalen photographs our human absence. Leaves, stones, water and air catch the light of the moon and stars. The deepest blacks emerge, outlines are enhanced. In this world, as darkness takes control, reason makes way for imagination. It makes us vulnerable. The landscape remains barely visible, but tangible all the more.
‘Absence’ is an ongoing project that Van Gaalen started in 2020. In his work, he studies the age-old friction between creating mankind and the autonomy of nature.
Lisanne Hoogerwerf (NL 1987) also graduated from the KABK in The Hague in 2011, but as a painter and over time she preferred photography. She constructs her scenes before a photo is taken of the result. Hoogerwerf uses exciting compositions with attractive color combinations in her landscapes. The scenes are often recognizable from a harrowing reality: desolate huts, oppressive landscapes or strange scenes in which humans are absent. She intuitively knows very well how to build an image, for example by positioning an object dramatically or contrasting it with the background. Thanks to the lighting and the use of color, the atmosphere is surprisingly not unpleasant, but rather dreamy and picturesque.
Without making reality explicit, Hoogerwerf confronts us as viewers with the state of the world in which cohesion, cooperation and society seem to be at the very least disrupted.