Galerie Richard

Olaf RAUH - 2004 - 2012

Press release

Jean-Luc and Takako Richard are pleased to present Olaf Rauh’s fifth personal exhibition in Paris entitled “2004-2012” which brings together photographs by the artist from three consecutive series: “Paris” (2004), Paninsula ( 2008) and Multiscan (2012) from June 4 to July 30, 2016. Galerie Richard in New York will organize Olaf Rauh’s first solo exhibition in the United States from June 29 to July 31, 2016 devoted to his first series “Playgrounds” from 2001 Olaf Rauh, born in 1968 in Leipzig, is the main representative of the new generation of German photographers. He radically detaches himself from the quest for objectivity, neutrality, and any documentary aspect, to better reveal the artifices of reality and highlight the specificities of his subjects.

The gallery exhibits works from the Code Paris series, photographs of Paris in 2004. The titles often refer to store signs. We have the impression of following a stroller who seeks to capture a truth about Paris other than the tourist or documentary image. The image of the street is streaked with horizontal lines, shapes are distorted, almost disappear or become unrecognizable, sometimes ghostly. Of this impression of speed, of circulation, only the advertising signs seem to have enough presence to remain fixed. Time is not lengthened but fragmented, stretched and shortened at the same time. Space-time is no longer used as a variable in an equation but as a field of experimentation for rich and complex telescoping. Here the flow of the video image precedes photography. Films are shown in fast motion mode and slow motion mode. It is only after this manipulation that the photographs are taken. The digital transformation carried out by Olaf Rauh highlights the preponderant place played by automobile traffic in the animation and daily perception of Paris.

The “Paninsula” series, which dates from 2008, immerses us in the artist’s imagination of a Pacific island unknown to the general public where the happy owners live in a heavenly oasis. The geometric architectures contrast with the lush vegetation that surrounds them. Faced with the works of Olaf Rauh, the question always arises of knowing what was the original image, what remains of it, what has been reworked, recomposed, created from all parts and how. All the works in this series suggest that each creation results from the mixing of two images, an image of a jungle and an image of a building constructed in some cases by the artist himself, inserting blocks of pixels like a mason superimposing concrete blocks. In the photograph entitled Paninsula 10, like the painter who enjoys the most absolute creative freedom on his canvas, the entire image is a pure digital creation ex nihilo.

The series entitled Multiscan is different from previous series already by the obvious absence of a subject or a theme. These photographs were taken all over the world. As the title suggests, the link may be the shooting technique: a scanner, each photograph resulting from one or more scanner passes. This results in highly saturated color photographs with an unreal density. Moving forms are transformed into ethereal polychrome masses. The artist has inserted in this series a work without any manipulation. For other images, he also scanned the same landscape several times and reconstructed it from the different scans. By depriving the viewer of any possibility of technical understanding, he releases the fullness of their artistic content for each work.

Olaf Rauh, exhibition after exhibition, irrevocably and without the possibility of turning back, meticulously destroys any illusion of objectivity in any image and at the same time, experiments with delight in new territories of creation.


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