Ocna. Closer Scrutiny
The body of work Ocna. Closer Scrutiny is shown in the large solo exhibition GreedFearLove in the museum Berlinische Galerie in Berlin till October 15, 2018.
“The series Ocna: Closer Scrutiny was produced at the same time as the cycle 23197. At first, all we see in the pictures are assorted male body parts floating like driftwood on a smooth, almost black surface of water. They are fragments, and yet we sense that they all belong to the same person.
Because Loredana Nemes does not observe the body as a whole but only its separate parts, she liberates our gaze from the involuntary compulsion to see all the details in relation to an entire person and to evaluate them on that basis. The arm is an arm and the leg is a leg. At pictorial level, they become cyphers with their own aesthetic aura.
Parallel to 23197 , Loredana Nemes again resorts to an abstraction in order to present something which lies outside our experience of the material world and which is hard to describe in pictures because it is hidden beyond. We cannot help suspecting that the subject is someone very close and familiar to her.
Nevertheless, she exposes this body to a merciless reading, as if every hair and every wrinkle can tell us something about the person and their secrets. Unlike those unspoiled fragments of ancient sculptures that survive down the ages, this is living flesh with blood circulating in the veins and arteries—and this also reveals its transience.
But the artist adopts a different take from Thomas Florschuetz and Pesi Girsch in their images of fragmented bodies in the late 1980s. While Florschuetz’s physical self-explorations must be interpreted as embodiments of pain, Girsch describes death with her scenic enactments.
Loredana Nemes has provided texts of her own to go with her photographs, and these translate the picture space into a relational space. They are poetic reflections which are more explicit than the photographs themselves in describing a process of closer scrutiny that delves behind everyday familiarity to seek out the mystery of love.
The two series 23197 and Ocna: Closer Scrutiny also offer valuable perspectives on how Loredana Nemes sees her role as a photographer: individuals everywhere experience vulnerabilities again and again, and her response is to pay attention and show empathy.”
From: Ulrich Domröse, Greed Fear Love. Text for the publication GreedFearLove, Hartmann Projects, 2018