Fotoeins Fotografie

faces of home & place-story

Posts tagged ‘lens-artists’

My Berlin: Alicja Kwade, bridging art and science

Above/featured: Alicja Kwade exhibition, at the Berlinische Galerie. HL:X70.

In October 2021, I watched DW Culture’s Arts.21 feature on Polish-German artist Alicja Kwade. I knew I had to see her work and exhibition in person, but would it be even possible? My answer arrived six weeks later with a quick jump home to Berlin.

All of Kwade’s sculptural pieces in her exhibition, “In Abwesenheit” (In Absence)”, are “self-portraits.” But none of them show her face; the pieces aren’t necessarily simple, nor are they “selfies” characterized by the present vernacular. She is not physically present, and yet, every piece provides the visitor a glimpse into her mindset including questions she raises about the volatility of the human condition and about where we fit within a very large universe.

As former research scientist, I’m recognizing and I’m loving the influences on her art. She is clearly very interested in mathematics, physics, astrophysics, biology, genetics; but she’d be the first to admit she’d need multiple lives to completely fulfill all of her interests. The deconstruction of “self” into precise scientific elements is another way of expressing those (dreaded) “selfies” or self-portraits. I admire the clever play: it’s the breakdown into those elements that tell us what she is, and it’s the measured synthesis of those elements into the broad strokes of her sculptures that tell us who she is.

We’re all playing this game. Everyday things seem so important. But then you zoom out and realize that you’re standing with another billion [people] on a spinning sphere. With that perspective, you’re reminded to just be glad you’re here at all.

– 16 April 2019, Artnet News about her rooftop commission at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.


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21 for 21: Foto(ein)s for 2021

Above/featured: U2 train departing Berlin’s Zoologischer Garten station – 28 November 2021.

I look back at an eventful 2021 year with 21 images with personal questions about how impending- and actual-loss affect how life proceeds beyond death, and how feelings of real belonging are different from feelings of a proper home.


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Public art in Vancouver

Above/featured: Left: “Search”, by J. Seward Johnson Jr. (1975). Right: “Solo”, by Natalie McHaffie (1986). Devonian Harbour Park, 14 Jul 2021 (X70).

Based on what we see in person and online, the quickest version of street art may be defined by the variety of art appearing on side walls of buildings, big and small. Most will think about paint, graffiti, and murals, all of them in the here and now. But we shouldn’t forget any art that’s out on the streets and publicly accessible.

Below are a handful of examples of public art in the city of Vancouver; the following is a visual expression of my fondness for sculpture whose origins sweep back to the 1st-half of the 20th-century.

  • “A Tale of Two Children” by Ken Lum (2005)
  • “Golden Tree” by Douglas Coupland (2016); “Salish Gifts” by Susan Point (2015)
  • Lions by Charles Marega (1939)
  • “Reconciliation Pole” by 7idansuu / Edenshaw, James Hart (2017)
  • “Salmon” by Susan Point (1995)
  • “Saltwater City”, by Paul Wong (2020)
  • “Welcome Figure”, by Darren Yelton (2006)

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Strathcona, East Vancouver, Vancouver, BC, Canada, fotoeins.com

Ordinary rejects

Above/featured: Night glow on a black tub-chair at a bus stop – 7 Oct 2021.

The intersection between modernity and ordinary is extraordinary in its vast reach, covering all corners of the planet by land, sea, and air. Consider what we have in our homes, and how much or little of it will get recycled. We might pause to consider how a piece of furniture lives or is used by a family; how they must have once been excited to buy chairs, couches, and beds, only to throw them out when they were deemed surplus to requirements, how much is tossed out in a regular or periodic “clean out” and/or in the process of moving out from a residence.

Below are images of abandoned items, whose likely destination is the dump.

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Fall colours in 8 German federal states

Above/featured: Misty autumn morning on Lake Constance (Bodensee): Konstanz, BW – 23 Sep 2017.

Sometimes on travel, I’m focused on achieving learning goals that I forget simply to stop and take in the surroundings. It’s a frequent error I’ve made in the past, and I’ll continue making that mistake. Fortunately, there’ve been a number of occasions where I stopped myself in time to soak in the scene and drink in the colours.

During the northern autumns of 2015, 2016, and 2017, I travelled through various parts of the German federal states of Baden-Württemburg (BW), Bavaria (BY), Brandenburg (BB), Hesse (HE), Lower Saxony (NI), Rheinland-Palatinate (RP), Saxony (SN), and Saxony-Anhalt (ST). You might ask about Berlin where I’ve visited countless times and accumulated months in total. I’ve dedicated a separate post to Berlin’s autumn colours with images from 2006 to 2017.

As for the rest, I hope you enjoy the following moments of autumn colour.

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