Uta Neumann


    Liberty Farms

    Text for the exhibition at Foto Forum Bozen, Italy, 25.4.-16.5.2009, curated by Susanne Weiß

    "Liberty Farms" by Susanne Weiß

    The photographs shown in Uta Neumann's exhibition “Liberty Farms” are a selection from her series “What we are longing for”, “Between the City”, “no naked lights” and “dreaming 8”. In “Liberty Farms”, we are following Uta Neumann to her various travel destinations - Australia, England, Italy and the U.S.- and discover the photographic moment of pausing as the common denominator. The work reflects her trust in the existence of things and in the uniqueness of the moment.

    On her journeys, Uta Neumann reveals to us the essence of the social limits/conditions. She does not only increase her visual awareness, but also the visual awareness of the observer. She follows the trail of society’s constantly changing structures. In this process she approaches the supposed contrast between Nature and Culture, where the boundaries between the wilderness of urban spaces and artificial landscapes blur. We encounter not only remote places but also forgotten objects. The objects are not unfamiliar to us, but the new created relational structure makes visible the usually inconspicuous.

    By using a variety of visual means, Uta Neumann moves constantly around what is “no more” or with that “again”. It is a suspicion that creeps through her pictures like a ghost. It is the suspicion of absence guiding our gaze to what, in its aesthetics, seems pervasively blank and aborted: the relationships of human beings to Nature - a recurring theme in Uta Neumann’s photography. It is easy to discern how she evokes the beauty of the incidental, the beauty of the moment. It is the use of forms of quietness and clarity and also the language of the relation to the objects. Her eye for peripheral places, which enter our life for a moment of dialogue, is captivating in its sobriety.

    This relation becomes apparent through her view, moving from the right to the left side, passing the actual centre. She takes us - the observer - to places that she has discovered on her own and that we now jointly look at. However, this sense of unity is an illusion. As only the observer can complete the associations the picture evokes. Uta Neumann openly shows her view on human beings and landscapes, her distant discoveries, that she shares, but made on her own - for the moment alone.

    This is how her work reveals the imprints of life. It is not only her closeness to the particular in everyday life, but also her concrete contemplation of the human opposite. Her portraits generate intimacy and make our encounter with those being portrayed animated and mysterious at the same time. The people and objects that she trains her sights on, achieve an almost physical potential due to the reproduction, placing the question of reality, no matter if constructed or real, at the centre of her work.

    In her photographs, Uta Neumann unifies the banality and the complexity of everyday life, she sides with the objects, with moments and, finally, with the visual of the moment. It is the coincidence or the magic of a peripheral moment that the artist adopts in order to achieve a distance from the stringency of the medium.

    Translation: Girina Holland, Nicole Neumann