André Wagner was born in 1980 in Chemnitz, Germany and finished his professional training as a photographer in 2001. He has been living in Berlin for the past five years (2004). He is a virtuoso cameraman, probing the possibilities of lighting and staging his landscapes (and portraits) in precise detail. His landscape photography can be seen as a reinvention of this traditional genre, mainly by way of the interpretation of light, as he often takes photographs at night, leaving the shutter open for up to four hours. He also “draws” photographic images with fire against the dark night sky.
His work process doesn’t allow for series of images, so that he can later choose the best one, he only has one night and this yields one image. With long-time exposure, he said in an interview, “you recognise a different essence in things. Nature takes on a completely different meaning.”
Wagner also uses artificial light to illuminate his scenes. Sometimes, however, natural and artificial light clashes, giving his images a floating moment of uncertainty, questioning our remembered experiences and our view of things as they stand. Life may not be quite what it seems and, beyond the horizon (of knowledge), many new problems arise.
André Wagner is a kind of magician, creating mystic, fantastic, magical images from reality, which will, inevitably form an aesthetic realm of their own. It is often a kind of intermediate realm, a twilight zone (also in the true sense of the word), not yet night, but no longer daytime.
This leads to a re-thinking of what we recognise in the photographs. Where do we stand facing these scenes? What do we gather from this interpretation of landscape? Isn’t that irritating, forcing us to take a stand? On the other hand, they offer a completely new perspective, as they open a poetic space, the visual poetry of romantic desire.
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