Visions of Nature

The photo-exhibition „Visions of Nature“, curated by Verena Kasper-Eisert and not unsuitably installed in a building by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, shows works by 25 artists musing and associating about – nomen est omen – nature. I have to admit that my relation with photographic art sometimes is a little problematic. Of course there are worlds between the torrent of today´s snapshots and a picture taken with insight and care. And here is my point: many photographs take a documentary approach, especially when concerning nature, but already through choice of picture section and later editing it is not possible to make a neutral statement. And very often this statement seems to me merely aesthetical. Now there´s nothing bad in that, but these pictures leave no very compelling or stringent impression. So why am I so awed by Darren Almond´s „Fullmoon“ series?

The large-format photographs have been taken by long exposure time during full moon nights in very remote places. They are impressively atmospherical and emanate a dark, cool and a little bit sinistre ambiance. They also provide a fitting definition for the often difficult to grasp and evading notions of sublimity and longing. Due to the intensity and variety of shades of the picures´colours one would not guess they have been shot by night.

Equally poetic though with a very different background are Michel John Whelan „Darkness Had No Need“-photographs. They, too, were taken by night, but in dark-sky preservation areas and with rather no moon.
So perhaps it is this ambiance I am looking for and there obviously is no medium more apt to create it than photography.

Julia Maurer


Kunsthaus Wien
Untere Weißgerberstraße 13
1030 Wien


Header: Ausschnitt aus Ausstellungsansicht „Visions of Nature“ © KUNST HAUS WIEN 2017, Foto: Eva Kelety
1.: Darren Almond, Fullmoon @ Cerro Chalten, 2013 © Darren Almond, Courtes White Cube Gallery
2.:Mathias Kessler, Erzberg 01, Austria, aus der Serie Staging Nature, 2004 © Mathias Kessler
3.: Jaakko Kahilaniemi, Romanticism and Patriotism Studies (Gallen-Kallela 1896), 2017 © Courtesy Gallery Taik Persons