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Eine Reise ins Ich © Carsten Klein

Inside/Outside Nature
Carsten Klein | Mariana Viegas

Curated by Katerina Valdivia Bruch

Inside/Outside Nature is an exhibition about the relationship between humans and their natural environment. Usually we associate nature with the unpredictable, the original, the pure and the incorruptible. As we all know, the consequences of human behaviour affect nature in a dramatic way. In fact, due to fast-paced changes in climate and some worldwide natural disasters, nature has become an issue in contemporary political discussions in order to protect and to try to avoid natural tragedies. The results of these are still open to be seen.

Between 2000 and 2007 Carsten Klein (Wiesbaden, 1966) has been working on the series of photographs Eine Reise ins Ich (A Journey into Myself). These photographs depict a personal journey into his own youth, going back to a general idea of childhood and adolescent experience. In this journey, nature belongs to the original and the untouchable, but it could also be seen as an unsafe and insecure place.

The photographs of Eine Reise ins Ich try to explain interior feelings that are visible through an exterior atmosphere of empty landscapes full of snow. The cold atmosphere in the photographs expresses some internal feelings of the portrayed person, to which the natural environment appears as unfair and impotent. Adolescence is a period of our lives in which we start to inquire about many things. It is also a period in which we identify with someone else or become insurgent against something we don't believe in; it may also be a time of reflection and insurrection against some established structures. The presence of snow in the photographs shows a closed environment, which does not understand the inner struggle of the adolescent becoming an adult. Klein won several prizes for his photographic work, such as the Merck Prize in Photography (Honorable Mention) for Eine Reise ins Ich and The Art Prize at the Grosse Kunstausstellung Halle/Saale for the series Das Stille Bild.

Mariana Viegas (Lisboa, 1969) explores the relationship between humans and nature in the form of man-made natural environments, such as public gardens, parks and vegetable gardens through photography and video. Her work concentrates on the culturally created image of natural landscapes, which have been changed by man recreating a real natural place that in reality is completely set up as a “natural” artificial scenario. Her photographs show a part of certain natural places and their ecological significance, which have been changed by man, especially the ones in urban areas. Viegas has been creating a body of work and researching on these issues in cities such as New York, Lisbon and Berlin.

Her latest series of works in photography and video, Why Monkeys Do Not Make Good Pets, present the complex recreation of a historical, almost mythical natural surrounding - that we may, for instance, associate with landscapes in Cambodia or Laos -, but which is actually an image of an artificial setting for apes in the Berlin Zoo. For Viegas, nature does not seem to be capable of development without human touch, as it is adapted to human needs, such as green areas in urban spaces, parks, etc. The works of Viegas are part of the collections of Centro de Artes Visuais, Coimbra, Instituto da Biblioteca e do Livro, Lisboa, Museo da Imagem, Braga, Fundação Ilídio Pinho, Porto, Fundação PLMJ, Lisboa, and can also be found in several private collections.

With the support of: Embassy of Portugal in Berlin, Fundação Ilídio Pinho, Instituto Camões, Vera Cortês Art Agency

Opening: October 30th, 2008
Exhibition: November 1st - November 29th, 2008

Galerie IAC-Berlin

curatorial text EN ]

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