Jochen Lempert never sees nature from a distance: whenever the Hamburg photographer captures butterflies, cranes, deer or flower meadows, he is always close up. In the photos of this trained biologist, subjective approach takes precedence over documentary anonymity: since the nineties, Lempert has been capturing the animal and plant world in sensitive portraits. They appear as grainy, sometimes delicate black and white photos on paper. The works can now be seen in Berlin, where the C/O Gallery invites you to the exhibition opening on Friday (12.05.2023). The immediacy with which Lempert depicts flora and fauna is evident not least in his experimental way of working. Whenever he has fireflies buzzing through his darkroom or frogs hopping across the photographic paper, the animals become direct collaborators and co-authors. Lempert, one feels, paints with light and looks with empathy at our environment, finding scenes that seem magical.
The supernatural also preoccupies media artist Farah Al Qasimi, who was born in 1991 and commutes between New York and Abu Dhabi. Inspired by horror films of the 1970s and 1980s, Al Qasimi’s first solo exhibition in Europe traces a poltergeist that haunts opulent estates. The result is a series of images that, like Al Qasimi herself, are not bound to a specific location, but pursue a question: how can something intangible be captured? The photo artist Daidō Moriyama is also no stranger to wandering between cultures. He had a decisive influence on Japanese street photography in the 1970s by pointing his camera at those not considered worthy of being photographed: gangsters and call girls who eked out a living on the fringes of Japanese society. Moriyama finds images that reveal the clash between tradition and Western hypercapitalism, telling fragile and fragmented stories of hope for a better future. All three photographers – who are on show at the C/O Gallery until September – have one thing in common: a curiosity about what lies before them and the unembellished way in which they depict it.
Text: Laura Storfner / Credit: Farah Al Qasimi. Courtesy of the artist and The Third Line, Dubai; Jochen Lempert/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023. Courtesy ProjecteSD, Barcelona and BQ, Berlin; Daido Moriyama/Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation
Jochen Lempert: Lingering Sensations until 07.09.2023
Farah Al Qasimi: Poltergeist until 07.09.2023