Steffi Pusch / Käthe deKoe: A Land is a Scape is a Soul

Steffi Pusch (born 1965) from East Essex, United King­dom and Käthe deKoe (born 1984) from Munich address land­scape pho­to­gra­phy through their vary­ing posi­ti­ons. A selec­tion of 13 images from Pusch’s four series tit­led “The Swim­mer,” “The Open Sky Above,” “In The Gap Bet­ween Thoughts,” and “Rural Eng­land” are oppo­site deKoe’s six shots of Munich and its vicinity. What they have in com­mon is that both artists ask the viewer for an emo­tio­nal inter­pre­ta­tion, in which the viewer is invi­ted upon a voyage of dis­co­very based upon their own com­ple­tely per­so­nal views on city, nature, and landscape.

10 March 2016 – 30 April 2016

On 10 Febru­ary begin­ning at 7 pm all are invi­ted to the opening recep­tion at the gal­lery. The artists will be present.

The fol­lo­wing works are pre­sen­ted in the show:

Pusch / deKoe: A Land is a Scape is a Soul

Even before the time of Rousseau’s natu­ral phi­lo­so­phy and Goethe’s famous trip to Italy, the per­cep­tion and rep­re­sen­ta­tion of land­scapes are occa­si­ons for descri­bing libe­ra­ted emo­ti­ons and the pro­jec­tion of ideal imagery. At least since the begin­ning of modern times, these land­scapes reflect lon­gings and uto­pian life plans, inner free­dom and a depar­ture into the realm of the para­di­siac, as well as con­cepts in roman­ti­cism such as the ent­rust­ment of the self in the omni­po­tence of inspi­red nature. The joint exhi­bi­tion of pho­to­gra­phic works by Steffi Pusch and Käthe deKoe is, as the show’s title “A Land is a Scape is a Soul” evo­kes, aware of this tra­di­tio­nal lineage, as both posi­ti­ons invite view­ers to emo­tio­nally ree­nact its land­scapes through a jour­ney of dis­co­very into very per­so­nal views of their per­spec­tives on urban space, nature, and land­scape.
Steffi Pusch (born 1965), who moved in 2008 from Colo­gne to East Sus­sex, United King­dom, is rep­re­sen­ted by a selec­tion of works from four series. “The Swim­mer” (2012) sen­si­tively illus­tra­tes a short story writ­ten by SJ But­ler and was pro­du­ced into a lavish art book. “The Open Sky Above” (2014/15) is the visua­liza­tion of the intense lin­ge­ring effects of a dream in which the artist hangs ups­ide down from a tree trunk, as she tries to reach for solid ground under her feet. Meta­pho­ri­cally, it depicts her escape from the GDR and the rejec­tion of a sup­po­sedly safe, but totally iso­la­ted socie­tal sys­tem. Through cross-fading the black and white land­scape pho­to­graphs from “In The Gap Bet­ween Thoughts” (2015) gene­rate tim­e­l­ess visual com­po­si­ti­ons that invite you into silence, con­tem­pla­tion, and awa­ren­ess. Lastly, the series “Rural Eng­land” (2011-present) descri­bes Pusch’s ongo­ing attempt to know the coun­try­side and to docu­ment her own chan­ging per­cep­tion of it over time. “There are lay­ers and lay­ers of watching, lay­ers of under­stan­ding and reco­gnizing, that coun­try­side at the same time is the way people live and talk and think. An expe­ri­ence of a stran­ger on her way to become an insi­der”.
For the Munich-based artist Käthe deKoe (born 1984), land­scape pho­to­gra­phy means pri­ma­rily focu­sing on an inspec­tion and inter­pre­ta­tion of the urban and rural areas in and around Munich. Through the use of motion blur, detailed infor­ma­tion that allows for an exact geo­gra­phi­cal posi­tio­ning of the selec­ted sub­ject has been omit­ted. On the other hand, the viewer fabri­ca­tes arche­typal views, in com­pa­ri­son with the real cir­cum­stan­ces and reconstructs – as it were – men­tal images, fed by know­ledge and expe­ri­ence. These reconstruc­tions are ulti­mately fan­tasy visi­ons, which con­se­quently do not require a “liken­ess” or an empi­ri­cal veri­fi­ca­tion. Whe­ther the English Gar­den, an S-Bahn mez­za­nine, or the foot­hills of the Alps deli­ver the con­crete motive remains irre­le­vant. Rather, the visual and struc­tu­ral pro­per­ties shove them­sel­ves to the fore­ground. The liken­ess sug­gests the image and beco­mes inde­pen­dent as an auto­no­mous work of art, which its­elf – in turn – can be char­ged with the viewer’s memo­ries and emo­ti­ons.