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Stephan Kaluza: Felder

September 02 to 10, 2011

Curator: Zdenek Felix

In advance of our exhibition Expanded Territory (October 1 to December 10, 2011) KAI 10 | ARTHENA FOUNDATION cooperates with the Dumont Verlag, Cologne for the first time on the occasion of the presentation of the book Stephan Kaluza - Felder.

Between 2005 and 2011 artist Stephan Kaluza photographed battlefields as they are today: fields, farmland, strips of coastland.
On one hand, these landscapes are historically “charged,” but on the other, they cannot be visually distinguished from ordinary landscapes. Kaluza’s photos inquire into the images behind the images, the (in)visible significance of these sites.
If the Butte du Lion Monument had not been erected in Waterloo, then the meadows and fields of this former battlefield would not seem at all different from those in the neighboring towns. Just as the island of Salamis, near Athens, is now home to a decrepit industrial district, it is also difficult to tell that the Battle of the Somme took place in an area west of Peronne, where more than a million people lost their lives. The significance of these landscapes does not lie in any sort of visible dramatic emotion, but rather in the subtle reminiscence of what has taken place there.
The photographs are based on a kind of “double” perception: one knows what occurred there at the same time that one looks at what exists there now. This gives rise to the illusion of abstracted time, a moment made to stand still. As H. N. Jocks wrote, “All of this is also about the way that time stands still, a kind of nunc stans, an eternity within a moment, and therefore, a subtle aesthetic of continuity. . . Things that were not simultaneous in reality are made contemporaneous.”*
These photographs were not taken with panoramic lenses; rather, the works consist of a line-up of single central perspective images—in most cases, several thousand. Without their vertical edges, however, they unite to form one fixed, visual space. The photographed units of time are therefore “welded” together to create the illusion of an extended moment in time.

(*from: St. Kaluza, Die unsichtbare Mauer, Dumont, Cologne, 2009)

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