»Land of Dreams – New Image(s)«
Like no other country the United States of America stood for the realization of dreams and almost unlimited possibilities. In his new photographic series, the artist Elmar Haardt (born 1974 in Essen) deals with the fragile status of the Land of Dreams. The series started with two large-scale works (200 x 250 cm each) produced in Los Angeles and Las Vegas this February. In addition to these works a new image, which has just been photographed in New York, will be presented at Jarmuschek + Partner gallery for the first time.
Elmar Haardt works with a special technique: His images are composed of analogue large-format slides, which are combined as digital scans into a new kind of panoramic view. This technical effort leads to an extraordinary condensation of the visual image information.
Despite the exuberant amount of visible details, the subject appears orderly and like a film still taken from the flow of time.
Like travel photographers and natural scientists in the 19th century, the artist finds himself with a big camera in the lonely landscape. Whereas only one single level can be precisely identified with the naked eye, the images of Elmar Haardt confront the viewer with a high-resolution depth of field, which is extended over the entire landscape. Comparable to the pictorial effect and painterly aesthetics of Caspar David Friedrich’s “Mönch am Meer” (1808/1810), these photographs evoke an urge to look at them and the feeling to get drawn into the image. In times of fleetingly appearing images and their more and more casual consumption, Haardt’s photographs make the viewer pause for a moment and demand him to look intensely – a conscious visual challenge and simultaneously an expansion of existing perceptual limits.
In his new works (New Images), Elmar Haardt looks differently at typical cities of the USA and reflects the changing image (New Image) of the country. Haardt does not show the glamorous side of these places, and yet his unagitated views are utterly impressive.
He creates photographic tableaus, whose numerous details and visual information are all equally sharp and thus visible in an almost “democratic” way. The breathtaking views of the places are aesthetically imposing and, at the same time, their architectural abundance is daunting. Here, nature and civilization are fighting for territorial integrity: a parable on the sociopolitical eruption that is currently shaking the land of dreams.