Gallery Weekend: Photography comes out of the forest – culture

After Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll wrote the sequel to the novel Through the Looking-Glass. Looking at Philipp Fürhofer’s light boxes makes you feel a bit like Alice, who literally goes back to the spooky world of wonders through a mirror over the cabin of the house. Four such photo machines can now also be seen in the Augsburg native’s third solo exhibition at the Judin Gallery.

Where the Fürhofer combines semi-transparent mirrors, painting, drawing and LED light with cyclic on and off, you can see yourself temporarily before the interior lighting reveals a deeper pictorial level. In the vertical format “Austausch” only the gallery space is reflected with the audience, then a scary forest appears with silhouettes, silver from behind as illuminated by the moonlight. As if the curtain had been raised on the stage of Wolfsschlucht by Freischütz and Carl Maria von Weber.

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Not every association, because Philipp Fürhofer is just as successful as a visual artist and as a set designer for musical theater. A production of “Castor and Pollux” with the late Hans Neuenfels at the Bavarian State Opera failed due to the pandemic. Bitter, but on the other hand Fürhofer owes breaking the Covid scene more freedom to the practice of art. This can be seen in the gallery space almost similar to the cathedral, eight meters high – not only quantitatively with 16 partly large format works, but also in the perfection of the tools.

His painting won the Corona exam

Fürhofer, who studied at the Berlin University of the Arts and was inspired by painters like Lovis Corinth and Per Kirkeby, increasingly uses drawing in addition to painting, which he sometimes scratches in plexiglass. Above all, his painting won the corona. It is not only the over-painting that happens, but also the scratching of the paint, so that the lower layers of the figure become visible. In general, there is a tendency towards densification of structures. This “thick” – in the case of some forest and coastal landscapes, this must be understood from the point of view of content – is also related to the fact that Fürhofer works only with an acrylic glass painting surface in twelve of 16 photographs. He also uses the reverse glass painting there. But he can do even without grading the depth of the miniature proscenium scene, with electrification and fluorescent tubes, which he likes to arrange in new boxes like rays of light blasting through the clouds.

In the flat works, his various pictorial symbols come even closer, sometimes penetrating each other: Fürhofer combines images of nature with representations of internal organs from medical imaging processes. The hearts appear in the landscapes, a reflection of a life-saving transplant that Fürhofer had to undergo 15 years ago. Blood vessels and branches are sometimes barely distinguishable, the physics and cycles and processes of the biosphere are thought of together in the picture.

The images can be read as Memento Mori

The duality of microcosm and macrocosm creates different humorous values: In the photo “Carbonization” appears an idyllic palm beach idyll that is decomposing and has an apocalyptic effect, while the forest diptych “Truths behind”, painted almost like the old masters, with dead trunks. and the overlapping X-rays of the chest, is more of a memory reading got.

[Galerie Judin, Potsdamer Str. 83, 30.4. bis 11.6.]

The title of the exhibition “Truths Behind” suggests critical reflections on the lack of a culture of fake news. But the pictures (yet) do not compensate for this. But as a digital native with a classical education, Fürhofer occupies an interesting position. As if his photos were screens with internet connection, he lets the unexpected appear. For example, word elements in the “Beauté Naturelle” light box and pairs of kissing films from “Gone with the Wind” or “Over the Rooftops of Nice” hidden in landscapes. “Movie Kiss” introduces Grace Kelly and Cary Grant, filling the format, tightly intertwined, but also unpleasantly melted like “Dorian Gray processed cheese”. Fürhofer shows both sides of the mirror, beautiful and ruined, ecstasy and decay.

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