Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Andreas Gefeller

Crosswalk Paris, 2002

 Andreas Gefeller is a contemporary photographer from Germany. In his series ‘Supervisions’ Gefeller documents the ground from an aerial perspective not possible through the human eye. To achieve these images Gefeller uses an elevated tripod attached to his body which holds the downward focused camera. Gefeller carefully captures images of each piece of ground within a grid and later stitches them together on a computer. These images are sometimes composed of thousands of separate exposures. This leads to large highly detailed compositions. Gefeller compares his work to that of a scanner “I worked as a scanner”. 

Panel Building 5 Berlin, 2004

Parking lot 2 Paris, 2002

The images display ordinary scenes in a completely new way. Gefeller notes how the images are real as everything depicted in them exists but also unreal as this perspective is not possible through the human eye. This method forces the viewer to look at the ordinary in a new light. They have an almost painterly quality and in the case of some of the internal compositions are almost unnerving in their false reality. Gefeller purposely excludes people from this series “My pictures depict only what people have left behind”. In many of the shots there is an eerie sense of emptiness “My images don’t give you a sense that people have left this place and will soon return. Instead and what is more disturbing, they make you think they were taken at a point far in the future - after man has left the earth”. Gefeller is confronting mans impression on the world. In a number of the images he documents the order man has put on the world and mans attempt to organise space “If you look at these works carefully, you’ll note that many were taken at places where man has arranged everything in rows: fences, stadium seats, crosswalk lines. This reveals an obsession with asserting control over the natural environment”.

Stadium Dusseldorf, 2002

Parking Site 2 Tokyo, 2007

The ‘Supervisions’ series is best experienced in a gallery setting. Large prints allow a physical zoom of the viewer from different points. From afar the images appear to have been taken at a much higher viewpoint but in closer inspection the detail rich compositions betray the painful method used in their construction.

In the series blank Gefeller manipulates satellite photos to show mans colonisation of the globe. By using night images he is able to show the sharp contrast between the illuminated “..Tentacle-like structure..” of the streets and roads in comparison to the black space which is everything else and never ending. Again Gefeller is showing mans footprint on the globe and mans persistence in applying order to the natural world. These images as well as those in ‘Supervisions’ also play on the theme of surveillance, the idea of constant observation at all levels. The two series compliment each other in their exploration of these themes covering different scales.

SV07, 2012

SV06, 2012

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