Curated by Dr. Sabine Fellner, Vienna
In its current IPCC synthesis report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns of an escalation of the climate crisis, of a: "only temporary overshoot of the 1.5 degree limit - the so-called "overshoot". This may be a "point of no return" after which the world will be a different place. Irreversible damage and impacts loom. Humans have been heating up the planet since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and industrialized nations have caused 50 percent of the greenhouse gases responsible for current trends. However, the nations of the "Global South" are much more severely affected by the consequences such as drought, heat waves and floods. The continued, unhindered exploitation and economization of resources and the extensive human intervention in biological, geological and atmospheric processes of the earth have led not only to a progressive loss of untouched nature as an emotional resource, but also to the destruction of habitats, massive species extinction as well as to humanitarian, political and economic crises. For a long time, artists have been dealing with the interrelation between man and his environment in their works and visualize the fundamental and irrevocable changes of our planet, the frightening consequences of the Anthropocene.
Numerous exhibitions are currently responding internationally to this urgent problem of the present and make it clear that the environmental theme has arrived in contemporary art. The multimedia exhibition TOUCH NATURE, which will be shown at the Austrian Cultural Forum Berlin to kick off the IMAGINE DIGNITY initiative, is part of a series of exhibitions at eleven Austrian cultural forums in Europe and the USA. It poses the question of the strategies that art develops in the face of increasing destruction, but also as a result of the increasing threat that nature poses to humans.
Works by Austrian and German artists* from the last 10 years enter into a dialogue with each other, casting a critical eye on the profound changes in our earth system and illuminating the ecological crisis from different perspectives. Painting, graphics, photography, sculpture, video and installation are the media they use to formulate resistance against the global exploitation of man and nature. But they also serve to create hopeful visions of a new relationship between humans and nature. Documenting, formulating protest, and developing utopias are the fundamental methods of this artistic exploration.
Astrid Lowack, Dark Water, 2017, Print on Diasec, 100 x 100 cm
"What do you see in these pictures? The real nature? Weather phenomena? These images seem too artificial for that, too overenhanced in their colors, almost psychedelic. Even their creator remains enigmatic: "I photograph what does not exist," is Astrid Lowack's aesthetic self-declaration. The photo artist, who was born in Bamberg in 1969 and now lives and works in Amsterdam, has never seen the inside of an art academy. She originally studied industrial design, and it was through photographing flower details that she found her way to photography. And has been a sought-after artist in this field for years now, represented by the renowned Samuelis Baumgarte Gallery in Bielefeld and presented at art KARLSRUHE."
A text by Olaf Schlippe
Read the entire report in the trade fair magazine of Art Karlsruhe 2023
The exhibition is directly connected to the exhibitions of the same name at the Museum für Kulturgeschichte in Dortmund in 2020, at the Museum Moderner Kunst Wörlen in Passau in 2020/21, and at the Herforder Kunstverein in 2021. A comprehensive joint catalog for the four exhibitions has been published by Hirmer.
The works of the internationally emerging artist reveal feelings and moods in the vibrations and movements of the colors. Her element is light, which makes her photographs appear with a beguiling, poetic presence. Astrid Lowack's photographs have that rare radiance found in baroque church vaults when they unfold skyscapes in complete abstraction. Nevertheless, the artist is not concerned with the faithful depiction or imitation of a (traditional) model, but with the subjective view of various psychological states.
Astrid Lowack was born in Bamberg in 1969 and has devoted herself to photography since 2011. Following the tradition of impressionism, the artist's works deal with the play of light, shadow, water and movement. By focusing on details and their alienation, the realistic photographic representation recedes into the background in favor of a multifaceted interpretation.
The exhibition was on view from May 13 to June 12 2022
Selected press articles about the exhibition
More press articles on the exhibitions at the Herforder Kunstverein and Museum Moderner Kunst Wörlen, Passau
Born in Bamberg in 1969, Astrid Lowack has devoted herself to photography since 2011. Following the tradition of impressionism, the artist's works deal with the interplay of light, color and form. By focusing on details, Astrid Lowack creates a hyperplane that allows realistic representation to recede into the background in favor of independent interpretation. The works of the internationally emerging artist reveal feelings and moods in the vibrations and movements of the colors. Her element is light, which makes her photographs appear with a beguiling, poetic presence. Astrid Lowack's photographs have that rare radiance found in baroque church vaults when they unfold skyscapes in complete abstraction. The viewer can hardly escape the photographic effect of her works. He may engage in an encounter with color and light that can no longer be translated into terms. Artistic expression can succeed in nothing better than creating its own unrepresentable reality.
Astrid Lowack lives and works near Amsterdam.
Touch Nature, Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin - 05.07.2023 – 25.10.2023
Astrid Lowack im Brühler Kunstverein, Brühl, 13.05.2022 - 12.06.2022
Elements of Transcendence, Herforder Kunstverein im Daniel-Pöppelmann-Haus, Herford, 10.07.2021 - 29.08.2021
Elements of Transcendence, Museum Moderner Kunst Wörlen, Passau, 10.03.2021 - 04.07.2021
Elements of Transcendence, Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Dortmund, 09.05.2020 - 25.10.2020