The body of work Greed is shown in the solo exhibition Loredana Nemes. GreedFearLove in the museum Berlinische Galerie in Berlin till October 15, 2018.
“And then Greed . Thirteen pictures arranged like a score: what music do we hear? Without photography our eye cannot register what we see in these pictures: the secrets of impatience, greed, and passion. Loredana Nemes tries to capture them with the camera on this microlevel of time. Initially she intended to examine the movement of the gulls swooping greedily on the bread. Saint Francis, who preached to the birds and marveled at them, would not have understood. As so often in Nemes’s work, mystery meets science, analytical technique scratches at the context of religious art. Loredana “cast” the seagulls in Berlin and fed them. The birds gathered in flocks, forming unknown mythical beings. For a long time she sought optimum light conditions, found a place in Hamburg, all the technical preparations had been made for the gulls, but the gulls had no desire to fight for their daily bread. They were too well fed or under a spell and the photographer screamed at them—it was pure indignation—and as if at her command they fell upon the bread. I imagine the rage of this small slip of a woman and remember how Hansel and Gretel wandered through the forest leaving a trail of crumbs so they would find their way home. Except that the birds ate up all the crumbs. And there was no way back. Now Loredana took her photographs, perhaps partly to counter her own rage, her own greed.
The gulls are huge, almost as big as people. The viewer bears witness to physical metamorphoses. The gulls seem now to be made of fragile porcelain, now of perforated folded paper. One moment the fragility is as hard as stone, then the hardness turns fragile, as in real life. The tumultuous motion in the struggle for food has been frozen and is framed by oily black water resembling mercury. For a fraction of a second—“as short as a guillotine,” says Loredana—we see their unmoving movement, photography approaching sculpture, as if the gulls’ bodies had been molded from the weight of stone. Their movements form a secret language made up of unknown symbols, we seem to catch an occasional glimpse of something Japanese. This new body language, this new physicality, is the epitome of desire that is born of the spirit of greed. The gulls fade and melt, dissolve and disappear into each other. Is this destruction? Salvation? Birth? It appears brutal and erotic at once. The last picture, where the gulls break out of their military order, unexpectedly leads us to insights of religious art, for these birds are so like those angels with six wings and no gender, those boned angels called seraphim. They are seated in the highest ranks of the angelic choir. And their message, the books tell us, is pure existence.”
From: Katja Petrowskaja Greedy for Intimacy. Text for the catalogue Loredana Nemes. GreedFearLove, Hartmann Projects, 2018