Hope or Vision

Rolf Goellnitz, Huntington Beach, L.A.

Kris Scholz studied at the Art Academy Düsseldorf. Today he is working as an artist and is teaching as a Professor for Fine Art Photography at the University for Applied Sciences in Darmstadt. His work has been presented in numerous exhibitions in Germany and abroad and is documented in many publications. (more details also under www.krisscholz.com)

The exhibition “Hope or Vision – Landscape Designs 1990 – 2010” in the Kunstverein Siegburg assembles works of the last 20 years. Large format photographs (up to 6 x 9’) show landscape designs, which Scholz created during several trips to Brazil, South Africa, Namibia, India, Mozambique, Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria, Swiss and France.

While Scholz in his early work preferred to get as close as possible to an objective reproduction of reality, his work is now dominated by a visual language, which is giving priority to the subjectivity of the observer and the observation and is documenting a process, which intends to liberate the image from the nimbus of showing reality.

As the physiologist and physicist Herman von Helmholz is writing already 1850: “The sensory perceptions as the eye receives them from a colourful surface are signs for our consciousness, whose meaning to be understood is left to our mind” – then today Scholz is interested in the questions, how do sensory impressions make it into the head, how do we define reality and how do we examine their truthfulness?

One work cycle of the images shown in the Pumpwerk has been created based on paper negatives. This material, which is sensitive to other wave lengths of light then the human eye, is showing in Black & White dramatically appearing results, which normally withdraw themselves from our perception and with that from our reality. Another picture (from 1991) is showing a large panorama of a seascape in Normandy. The scene looks like a model backdrop on which toy tractors have been left carelessly. The irritation is perfect, learned standards are made nonsense of.

In Scholz latest work, which is represented with seven pieces in Siegburg and in which he almost symbolically involves the beholder, the observer is so to speak looking the person in the image over his / her shoulder – believes to see, what that person might just see and gets access to the outside by putting himself in that person’s shoes.

A method, which we know from Romanticism and which is preferably associated with Caspar David Friedrich’ s “Monk on the shore side” and his “ Back Images” and which is been newly interpreted here and put into a changed context of perception by Kris Scholz.

Artist statement:
“I’m not interested in documenting reality, I discuss premonition and longing, show landscapes which look peculiar unreal or fantastic, far apart laying situations, which irritate the recipient, leave him doubting the meaning of reality and as a consequence challenge him to check the own pictures of imagination.” One might definitely say that Scholz offers in his landscape designs, to use reflection and interpretation of the outside landscape as a tool to show the own inner world and vice verso and requests the beholder to define his own position.