Raquel Ladensack's work is quiet, careful and subtle. Ranging from washed and painstakingly framed natural landscapes to worked studio abstractions, her photographs reveal an interest in a highly keyed sense of expansiveness. Within this emptied space, her wrought, white washed process speaks to a worried, but determined resolve about the quality of something generative in that opening. She employs suspension, dispersion and alliteration to create apologetically beautiful works that through their recalcitrance, ask questions about the visceral process of looking itself. About looking so hard that the subject all but disappears and about the kind of prolonged looking wherein the eyes lose focus in thought and vision is fractured into multiple points.
Raquel predominantly photographs with an inherited Rolleiflex twin lens camera. Hanging around her neck, the viewfinder rests in front of her abdomen. She says that she dislikes holding a camera in front of her face—that it feels like stealing. Instead, she takes photographs from her belly, a process that allows her to experience her environment, while also recording it. This liminal position, one foot participant, the other observer, can be found in the simultaneous sense of immersion and dissolution of her landscapes and the frequent twinning in her work.
Raquel Ladensack is based in Chicago. She is currently a MFA candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago and received her Bachelor of Art in Philosophy and Art from Western Michigan University. In 2010 Raquel was an Artist-in-Residence at The Art Institute of Chicago’s Ox-Bow residency in Saugatuck, Michigan and traveled and photographed throughout Iceland as the recipient of the 2010 Provost Grant for graduate research through the University of Illinois.