Galerie Wagner + Partner
 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Landscape and Memory

Peter Dreher, Ruth Hommelsheim, Jyrki Parantainen

12/7/2018 – 1/26/2019

There are traces inscribed in the landscape. We leave them, blur them, dig them out again, and set them free – in the hope of evolving and learning from past experiences, and as markers for our future.

Memories are non-existent without the landscape and without memories there would be no spaces in which to base our landscapes on. We actively construct our own landscapes by intervening in nature. Poignant examples of this are the "unstructured" 18th-century English garden, or former coal mining areas–which then regenerate and thus become untouched-nature once more.

Ruth Hommelsheim (*1965) documented the demolition of the Palast der Republik (Palace of the Republic) ten years ago. These photographs serve as source material for the series Palast (Res Publica). By overpainting the background, the architecture becomes fragmented and deprived of its context. The building—originally intended to be wiped out of the landscape—is reconstructed through a technique of alienation. Likewise, in the series After Nature, Hommelsheim visited Lusatia’s former opencast mining areas over several years, and these investigations also incorporate a reconstruction of memory. After Nature traces moments of natural regeneration, including the exploitative echoes of the Industrial Age, which are clearly evident in the landscape.

Peter Dreher (*1932) created the series 7 days in October, and with it, he posited the notion of stillness. The repetition of a seemingly identical landscape motif became an expression of the impossible desire for the permanence of change and the stability in deviation. In the process, the impressions of painted memories are depicted through varying colour temperatures and invite us to become aware of the liveliness of each moment.

The photographs by Jyrki Parantainen (*1962) are characterised by an astonishing timelessness, and similarly explore human interventions in nature, unexpressed expectations, and empty spaces that prove challenging to fill. The large-scale work, Secrets displays an abandoned outdoor pool. Unused for a long time and already disintegrating, the reminiscences tell of the owners' hopes, but they also testify to a belief in technical feasibility that is no longer shared today. Nature reclaims the landscape. What remains is a landscape of memory, captured by a retouched photograph.