1 JUNE – 23 SEPTEMBER 2018
CURATED BY MIGUEL VAN SCHNEIDER
The work of Jochen Lempert (Germany, 1958) engages with photography from the optic of research and visuality, very often with the intention of questioning the criteria behind a search for the truth and the models that shape the world. The artist portrays the animal world in the most varied contexts: ranging from the natural habitat to Natural History museums, from the zoo to the city, in remote locations or in banal situations and objects. In his tireless quest, Lempert has managed to create a vast archive of images that covers a wide spectrum spanning everything from everyday views to compositions that tend more towards abstraction.
This interest in the natural world as subject matter is coupled with an exhaustive examination of the properties and materiality of the photographic image. Analogue, in black and white, and developed in the darkroom, his photos refuse to be categorised and are removed from contemporary aesthetic canons. The fact that his images are shown without frames, directly pinned to the wall, lends his works a certain texture, a quasi-objectual sensuality and a striking immediacy that invites the beholder to observe them up close.
That said, the artist’s insightful and telling gaze is not straitjacketed by the instant when the camera button is clicked or the negative is developed because his work gains in depth when deployed in the exhibition space. In his depictions he favours groupings and plays of scale that respond to the particular venue. The placement and selection of material is underpinned by an observant working plan, always looking for crossed references and associations that will uncover subtle correspondences. The proposals prepared by the artist open up new perceptions for us on the patterns, structures, irregularities or order that underlie the natural world.