Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream...' This quote by the two Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney precedes TC Boyle's book "the light", in which he recounts the scientific and esoteric practices of psychologist Timothy Leary. It would also be a relevant guideline when visiting Astrid Lowack's exhibition, on show at ARTCO Berlin from Oct 26.
Visiting the gallery, viewers are invited to turn off their minds and fully engage with the large-scale works of the photo artist. They provide access to an alien world into which one balances with uncertain footsteps. The further you move, the more you loose connection to established color contexts, to familiar forms and their proportions. Your mind inevitably gravitates to this supernatural experience, of natural phenomena that no longer seem to fit into this world.
"To have paradise in mind, is after all, something wonderful, to look forward to it likewise.... it can of course also be seen as something final - depending on the point of view... just as my pictures always combine something positive and something negative - and you perceive what you want to see...", explains the artist with reference to the exhibition title.
Astrid Lowack normally works outside amidst nature. There the artist finds all the elements that she needs for the “transcendent” image effect she is striving for, beyond normal sensory experience: light and shade, water and movement. The duration of the photographic process is open, it can last between a few minutes and several hours. This often results in several thousand photographs. The artist chooses some of these, which she then treats in two steps. Firstly she selects a section as a valid picture composition, and secondly she reduces or intensifies the colours inherent in the image.
The artist, born in Bamberg in 1969, originally studied Industrial Design - but has long since crossed the formal boundaries of applied design. Her work could rather be described as a part of "subjective photography," which Otto Steinert founded at the beginning of the 1950s with an explicitly artistic claim. Here, the documentary aspect was no longer in the foreground, but the experimental one, which was supposed to stimulate the viewer's imagination and encourage a subjective interpretation. The reception of these works is also correspondingly subjective. In his 2018 analysis of Lowack's photographs, Klaus Honnef concluded, "The longer one looks at the artist's images, and especially the more intensely, the more clearly contours of patterns and formations seem to emerge, [...] as if a world still in the making were revealed in the manifold color-form formations." Prof. Dr. Klaus Honnef, 2018
Lowack lives and works near Amsterdam and has been included in numerous solo and group museum exhibitions. A publication has been published by Hirmer-Verlag.
The exhibition is open from Wed-Sat, 12pm-7pm.