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Irrlicht (nr.10)


artist | Friedrich Gobbesso

2015

Photography / Edition of 5

125 × 100 cm / 49.2 × 39.4 in

Fine art print.

IRRLICHT (ghost lights)

Dawn, the sea, volcanic formations and chemistry — equipped with these props Friedrich Gobbesso enters the millennium-old stage of the Sicilian coast in order to appropriate it for a pyrotechnical performance and its documentation. A ... Read more
Fine art print.

IRRLICHT (ghost lights)

Dawn, the sea, volcanic formations and chemistry — equipped with these props Friedrich Gobbesso enters the millennium-old stage of the Sicilian coast in order to appropriate it for a pyrotechnical performance and its documentation. A band of magnesium that Gobbesso installed and kindled in the lava rock of the volcanic island provides a blazing light source and the documentation is conducted with the use of an analogue camera which was adjusted to a long exposure time of several seconds per image.

“Irrlicht” makes it difficult for the viewer to find their bearings in this setting, which is due to the otherworldliness of the volcanic landscape and the fact that Gobbesso’s camera focuses on detail views of this environment that is still relatively unknown. The glaring light source of the magnesium that pulls strings of light in the dark, a visual sensation that has no reference point in our everyday lives, adds to this disorientation and produces a feeling of distance between the viewer and the photographic results. The amazement evoked by the strangeness of these images is contrasted by an almost uncanny feeling of comfort that the graphic interplay of gentleness, contrast and contour produces in the eye of the attentive viewer. Some of the images from this series also have a cave-like quality, a feeling of there being “light at the end of the tunnel”.

Gobbesso’s strategy behind these pieces works out. The carefully selected exotic variables, as unfamiliar and artificial they might seem at first, produce an independent reality. Liberating these images from their actual content, the artist’s aim seems not to be for the viewer to get lost in the strange landscapes, but to appeal to his/her willingness to open up to these other-worlds and accept them as magical, manifold places for the eye and the mind. Read less
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