Weekend Gallery: Photo Breaks the Forest – Culture

After Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll wrote the second part of the novel Through the Looking-Glass. Looking at Philip Voorhofer’s light chests makes you feel a bit like Alice, who is literally scrambling back to a spooky wonderland through a mirror over the mantelpiece at home. Four such cameras can now also be seen in the third solo exhibition of a native of Augsburg at the Godin Gallery.

Where Voorhofer combines semi-transparent mirrors, painting and drawing, and periodically blinking and dying LED lighting, you can see yourself momentarily before interior lighting reveals a deeper photographic level. In the vertical form “Austausch” the exhibition space is only reflected with the audience, then a frightening forest of silhouettes appears, silver from behind as if illuminated by moonlight. As if the curtain had risen above a Wolfsschlucht scene from Carl Maria von Weber’s Freischütz.

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Not just any association, because Philip Voorhofer has had similar success as a visual artist and as a musical theater designer. The production of “Castor and Pollux” with the recently deceased Hans Neuenfels at the Bavarian State Opera failed due to the epidemic. Bitter, but on the other hand, Voorhofer owes a break to the Covid theater for more freedom to practice art. This can be seen in the almost cathedral-like exhibition space, which is eight meters high – not only quantitatively with 16 works partly large in size, but also in the improvement of the means.

His paintings won the Corona exam

Voorhofer, who studied at the Berlin University of the Arts and was inspired by painters such as Lovis Corinth and Per Kirkeby, increasingly uses drawing in addition to painting, which he sometimes scratches into vitreous. Above all, his paintings won the decline of Corona. Not only does overpainting occur, but also scratching of the paint, so that the lower layers of the image become visible. In general, there is a tendency towards thickening of structures. This “forest” – in the case of some landscapes of forests and banks to be understood in terms of content – also relates to the fact that Fürhofer works only with a single picture surface made of acrylic glass in 12 of 16 photos. It also uses reverse vitreous painting there. But he can also do without the deep gradation of the stage of the miniature, with electricity and fluorescent tubes, which he likes to arrange in the new boxes like rays of light piercing the clouds.

In flat works, his disparate pictorial symbols approach, and sometimes even penetrate, each other: Voorhofer combines images of nature with representations of internal organs from medical imaging processes. Hearts appear in the landscape, a reflection of the life-saving transplant that Voorhofer had to undergo 15 years ago. Blood vessels and branches are sometimes difficult to distinguish, as cycles, physical processes, and the biosphere are thought of together in images.

Pictures can be read as Memento Mori

The dichotomy of the small universe and the big universe creates different mood values: the picture “carbonation” shows an idyllic landscape of a palm beach disintegrating and has a shocking effect, while the jungle jungle “facts behind”, painted almost like the old masters, with dead trunks and x-rays superimposed on the chest, are More than just a memorial reading of death.

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

The exhibition’s title, The Truth Behind, suggests critical reflections on the lack of a fake news culture. But the photos (so far) don’t make up for it. But as a classically educated digital native, Voorhofer occupies an interesting position. As if his images were screens connected to the Internet, he allows the unexpected to appear. For example, the word elements in the light box “Beauté Naturelle” and the kissing couples from the movie “Gone with the Wind” or “Over the Rooftops of Nice” are hidden in the landscape. Movie Kiss features Grace Kelly and Cary Grant, filling in shape, tightly woven together, but also melting unappetizingly like Durian Gray Processed Cheese. Voorhofer shows both sides of the mirror, the beautiful and the devastating, the ecstasy and the decadence.

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