From Stella Rosa McDonald…
Wo ist das Leben presents a new series of large-scale photographs by German born artist Karin Lettau. Taken on her iPhone and a small point-and-shoot camera the photographs are of staged, microscopic scenes. The photographs play with the worth of images; does a digital phone photo have less value than an analogue image? Does a staged narrative deliver more weight than natural scene? The title of the exhibition directs us to ask where the political life of the image lies.
For Lettau the cycle of sunlight in her studio is an important parameter for this body of work, which uses glass, water, coloured pigments, light and shadow in its execution. Her staged set-ups of atom-like dust particles reference the coal economy that socially and environmentally defines Newcastle, where the artist lives and works. The video Enough Light, 2015 draws attention to breathing, while other blown up scenes recreate the industrial and urban landscape from particles of copper, silver and coal dust. Through their mix of empiricism and historical fact Lettau’s photographs examine the politics of landscape and the hierarchy of the image, paying particular attention to extraordinary life of ordinary things.
Until July 26
SNO Contemporary Art Projects, Marrickville
Pic: Karin Lettau, Untitled (2015), print on brushed aluminium. 120 x 120 cm. Courtesy the artist and SNO Contemporary Art Projects, Sydney.