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ABOUT LUKAS ROTHWhen confronted with Lukas Roth´s photography one is immediately struck by its variety of subject, because the work doesn´t follow a single unified theme. The photos present urban scenes, isolated architecture and housing blocks as well as landscapes. People move about within these spaces but they could just as well be empty. It isn´t the objective documentation of an object or a situation that is the focus of interest here in the sense of an “industrial archaeology”, but rather the opposite. The pictures seem to be covering things up instead of documenting or objectively clarifying anything, the images thus give rise to questions. The effect of this albeit subliminal lack of information is at once exciting and unsettling. The surface of the photographs appear at first to have nothing unusual about them, thus the viewer is forced to embark on a journey into the images, to search for the source of this uneasiness.
The study of details however fails to provide answers to such questions. Even when traces of manipulation are discovered here and there and the image seems to open up, the pictures remain steadfastly silent about that which they are hiding beyond the sight of the viewer. This isn´t really surprising because they aren´t hiding anything. They show what they are and they are what they show, filtered through the artist´s eye, the images come from the reality of daily experience. What Lukas Roth shows us in every photograph is a masterfully executed image of his vision of the subject of his gaze. Varying degrees of meticulous reworking within the picture are never an end in themselves, instead they are simply a means of “correction” when the objectivity of the lens doesn´t allow for the subjective, intended projection of the image. In a best case scenario the finished product corresponds exactly with the image that the artist had in his mind´s eye as he took the picture with his camera.
Here one finally comes closer to the source of the uneasiness which these pictures evoke. By choosing not to look for the sum of visual consensus for that which is unsettling or eerie and instead searching for the greatest possible distance to it through absolute subjectivity, a subtle break with the viewer´s conventional habits of seeing takes place. These pictures refuse to be taken in by the perspective of the viewer, they themselves are only reflections of pictures already seen, filtered through a process of subjective perception and then thrown back. This creates in each piece a specific, almost physical and hermetic cosmos which is projected “into” the viewer, without he or she having the ability to occupy the perspective of the “composing” viewer, namely the artist. In this way the “failure of the gaze” is at the centre of Lukas Roth´s work, making perceptible the experience of not being able to overcome the “blind spot”. The experience of this failure is in the end a profitable one, for the impossibility of recognition touches off a continuous reflection of one´s own depths as a viewer.
Born in Regensburg
Sommerakademie Salzburg, Austria
Class Verena von Gagern
Studies at Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie, Arles, F
1996 Guest professor Hochschule für Künste, Bremen
2000 Guest professor Technische Universität, Darmstadt
2004 »Otto-Steinert-Award« German Society of Photography Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh)
2008 Appointment to the German Photographic Academie (DfA) Appointment to the German Society of Photography (DGPh)
Lives and works in Cologne
»Rekonstruktionen« Rotonda Galerie Cologne [solo]
2007 »Existencias« Museo De Arte Contemporaneo MUSAC, Leon ES »re-construction« Paul Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles [solo]
2006 »Color Summer« Young Gallery, Brussels (July/August) »D’un moment á l’autre« Le Jeu de Paume »hors les murs« Maison d’art Antonio Berlioz, Nogent-sur-Marne Curated by Regis Durand »Library« Gallery Martin Kudlek, Cologne [solo]
2005 »20 ans de Création à l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie« Abbaye de Montmajour Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles Gallery Martin Kudlek, Cologne (March-May) [solo]
2004 Award «Otto-Steinert-Preis 2004« Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh) [solo] Fotobild 04, Berlin
2003 Printemps du LAC, Luxemburg Foire du Luxembourg, Luxembourg
2002 Fotografien Deutsche Ausgleichsbank, Berlin [solo] Neue Deutsche Architektur Gropiusbau, Berlin
1999 »Die Architektur von Heinz Bienefeld« Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main (catalog) »Architectures des années 50« Musée d’Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg »1926-1995 Heinz Bienefeld« Architektur des Privaten Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Cologne
1997 »par exemple Berlin« Espace Croisé, Lille »l’architecture moderniste à Luxembourg dans les années 30« Musée d’Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg (catalog)
1996 »par exemple« images d’architecture comptemporaine en France et en Allemagne Akademie der Künste, Hamburg »par exemple-Berlin« (catalog) images d’architecture comptemporaine à Berlin Goethe Institut, Paris »Weltbild Wörlitz - Entwurf einer Kulturlandschaft« Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main (catalog)
1995 »par exemple« (catalog) images d’architecture comptemporaine en France et en Allemagne Badischer Kunstverein , Karlsruhe Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut, Heidelberg
1994 Images d’architecture: hier et aujourd’hui Institut Culturel Franco-Allemand, Tübingen
1993 Photoszene Köln T4 Temporäre Galerie, Köln [solo]
1990 ENP d’Arles à Amboise Chateau d’Amboise (catalog)
CollectionsKfW Bankengruppe, Frankfurt am Main,
D Badenwürtembergische Landesbank, Stuttgart,
D MUSAC- Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilia y León, León,
E West Collection, Oaks, USA