Nature Morte
Till Leeser

My education in fine art photography and the artistic involvement with work groups that are abstractions of my surroundings in black and white, have always left a lot of room for individual interpretation. But, I was devoted to an abstract vision due to the influence of my teacher Otto Steinert and his vivid ideas of > subjective photography< , which turned out to become my main focus of interest. My work cycle "nature morte" that I started in 2004, is the logic continuation of my previous photographs. I was recognising nature as a source of graphic resemblances that display the principles of beauty even in so-called waste. The first motives were objects I found, dead plants, branches and leaves, but also small animals like dried insects. I was fascinated by their frozen and bizarre appearances. I collected these items in empty houses, underneath trees and pergolas and also at the beach. It reminded me of stuffing the pockets of my trousers with everything I found when I was a little boy - a very primal and humane activity to gather things - simply useful items. I collected because I found these objects beautiful. I saw structures and shapes evolving out of the accumulation of matter; almost like a landscape that unveils a live of its own. Another series of this cycle consists mostly of man made materials like plastic fences, bags and old fishnets or pieces of nature like seaweed and mussels. Isolated from their original context and torn apart, these items are detached from their original features. They turn into patterns, sometimes multilayered ones, by creating shadows that form patterns in themselves. Going through drawings and etchings of the 16th century (see J.Hoefnagel (Fig. 1) at the end of this page) I rediscover the very same fascination for the detailed depiction of deceased matter, such as roots, mice, beatles and other dead objects that people have brought home from their travels. The composed structure of those pictures refers to the creative order of the world like the structures of my pictures - they are being played out like dices. For me as a photographer, the coincidence is the most important determinant. I don't intervene, I see something happen in front of my eyes (in front of the camera). Bringing these dead objects back to life, is the surprising part. The immaterial beauty of the shadows is something tender and agile. It is a tangency (dialogue?) of the immaterial with the dead, the matter. Somehow, this beauty is a solace. In contrast to the periphery nature of my pictures, I create these photographs with the highest precision digital technique allowes me. And the printing on rag paper in highest solution gives those photographs the quality of etchings.


J.Hoefnagel 1592 (nasci.parti.morti)