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Galerie Bayasli, Paris ︎Link

Ceci n'est pas un paysage

“[...] Landscape thus reveals more than just a relationship between world and image. It also illustrates the relationship between humans and the world, showing that we are digital Ptolemaics. It is a testament to Lena Keller's keen analytical eye that her painting takes on this neglected image- world relationship. Her work reflects the genre and media history of the landscape image, revealing our relationship to landscape and, thus, our relationship to the world.

At the same time, it develops this world relationship in diffrent directions. I want to single out one of them: some color progressions suggest inflammation, for example, in “Forest Slope 2” (2022). These bring to mind the well-known danger of total environmental destruction - total in that human life on earth would no longer be possible. This would, of course, also mean that there no longer are landscapes, only nature. This impression of an impervious, deserted, and perhaps even hostile nature is supported by the abstract character of the images: it is unclear what the images depict, but there's a sense of defamiliarization and detachment. They almost seem surreal and disturbed, without a human trace. The fact that we see them as landscapes is only the result of a perceptual convention, which, however, is also a conventional relation to the world. And this relation to the world will ultimately lead to the destruction of ourselves and of landscapes.

Keller’s landscape paintings thus have a peculiar, dystopian sense of time. They show us nature not as landscape but as post-landscape.”

Dr. Björn Vedder

Excerpt, read full exhibition text here ︎Link

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Photography Credits:
Verena Hägler, Thomas Lomberg, Joe Clark, Gerhard Haug

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