CURATOR: HANS IRREK
Photography is the tool by which the quintessential component of the moment is suspended in Axel Hütte’s works. It reflects the moment in which the gaze is frozen, comes to rest. At the same time, it is the spark that animates the viewer’s imagination, enabling the experience of it. In his subtle manipulation of the image, the artist has an entire arsenal by which to focus the chosen moment. The possibilities for variation seem bewilderingly inexhaustible. The combination of technically available equipment and naturally existing phenomena results in images of captivating beauty. Manipulation in this sense also means that the artist lets nature itself generate an image according to his ideas, by understanding the landscape as a static backdrop in order to fix it with the camera at the single valid moment. Like a conductor, Hütte orchestrates the reservoir of opportunities that nature per se has in store as a supply of available natural phenomena: cloud-covered areas, banks of fog, water reflections, light, and the blackness of the night. Even if one knows how the artist arranges his pictures technically, his choice of camera, which places at which season he travels, a complete decoding of the pictures seems as impossible as to grasp all fifteen of the set stones of the artfully conceived Zen Garden Ryoan-Ji, in Kyoto, Japan, simultaneously.
Hütte’s photographs are both visual constructs of places and profound creations that atmospherically evoke the sound of place. This sound results from the concentrated silence that resonates in each image. The work Aphrodisias, Night (2017) demonstrates this in a striking way. Like all ancient sites in Asia Minor, the ancient city of Aphrodisias in the interior of the country reflects Asia Minor’s rich historical heritage, and as a reflection of the diverse cultural influences of the time, brings the multifaceted history to life before the viewer’s eye. Hütte’s view of Aphrodisias presents itself focused and characterized by minimalist elegance.
Borusan Contemporary is delighted to celebrate Axel Hütte’s work in an impressive exhibition. The works in the show aim to link the various aspects of Hütte’s photographic art and foster a dialogue. The exhibition offers to the viewer an enriching view of the turbulent and eventful history of ancient sites such as Ephesus, Miletus, Pergamon, Sagalassos, Hierapolis, and Aphrodisias. Through Axel Hütte’s photographs, they emerge from the shadows of history and become visually alive in the present.
The relics of the great cultures, such as that of Ephesus, always confront viewers with their own limitations in life and place them in a time structure in which their own significance is fed into the stream of history as vanishingly small. At the same time, however, they also demonstrate what people are capable of and how advanced civilizations helped determine the course of world history over centuries. The photographs in the exhibition, show how impressive and enriching these images act in dialogue.
Please click for the details and to reserve a seat for the exhibition tour with the curator Hans Irrek organized specially for the opening day.