MEAD CARNEY is to present the solo exhibition Brigitte Niedermair – The Present, curated by Elena Re.
What is the present? It may be an iPhone that turns into a rising sun or a primeval fire, or even the light of the contemporary world. The curatorial concept at the heart of this exhibition is to shed light on the innovative aspects of the artistic research of Brigitte Niedermair, an Italian artist who uses photography to communicate the foundation of her own existential world.
Through a selection of works that illustrate her most recent developments, this exhibition examines not so much the differences or changes of direction in relation to her previous work, as what she is focusing on now. In other words, it explores her current level of awareness; the freedom and clarity of her vision that appears more precisely and proficiently within her practice today.
Brigitte Niedermair is an artist who expresses herself through photography. At the same time, she is a photographer who ventures deep into the disciplinary challenges of art. This cross-fertilisation between two worlds, an osmosis that she performs with great determination, has become the characteristic feature of all her work. The poetic content of her art has always found ideal form through her great mastery of the medium of photography. But never more so has the compositional balance and iconic component of her work been executed in such a lean and essential manner. They almost dissolve before the eye of the viewer, allowing the work to appear in its most subtle and immaterial dimension. Extending far beyond the subjects they portray, the photographs we see directly communicate Niedermair’s thoughts, feelings and personal inner journey. The concepts emerge with great power and immediacy, making space for themselves within the substance of photography. The abstraction creates figures which are authentic portraits.
Photography, my photography, is reality – like the recording of an invisible story, of a private tale, a secret map of feelings. It is the metaphor of a journey, the dawn of a new perception and a transformation of vision. Ultimately, it is a confession. It may well be true that change occurs when we start to be what we are, not when we try to be what we are not. That is the way it has been for me. Now I know. (Brigitte Niedermair)
Dust (2007) marks the beginning of this new period of research. It is no coincidence the work was conceived at the same time that the artist experienced the birth of her child. The symbol of the cross appears as a trace in the dust, inducing us to reflect deeply on life and death as well as suffering as a moment of catharsis and regeneration. The photographic sequence informs our understanding, from darkness to light, in a circular process.
The Present (2012), the title-work of the exhibition, is an introspective moment of great intensity on the significance of the present time. The iPhone is an object from which to transcend; to find a rising sun and a primeval fire, but also the light of the contemporary world. Both present and past find a precise location in a single point. The photographic sequence leads our eye towards abstraction.
Transition (2012) is the most anti-figurative work of the exhibition. It conveys a voyage primarily of the spirit that extends beyond the mere representation of the symbol of a pyramid, capturing solely its sense of threshold as a boundary between earth and sky. This stark work reveals the artist’s wish to record her own spirituality through photography of the world.
Eden (2012) is the most romantic work within the exhibition, despite its essentiality. It communicates an apparition, a vision of a starry sky, all based on the random observation of an apple. Niedermair’s eye focuses insistently on the object, delving so deeply into the detail as to modify our perception of it, bringing about a degree of abstraction that generates figures which are images of infinity.
Brigitte Niedermair (Merano 1971) has been a photographer for over fifteen years, alternating artistic research with fashion shoots. The experience she has built up in these two areas has allowed her to mature a coherent vision of great richness, which has given her international renown. Starting out from a work of staged photography in which, with great ethical commitment, she investigated the question of the female body in particular, more recently she has focused her artistic research in a clearly conceptual direction. The theme of identity, in its most profound, immaterial aspects, is what emerges most powerfully today. Indeed, her photography can be included among the new forms of art that are now taking up the cultural legacy of the 1970s with greatest intensity.
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