Michael Ruetz: The Quintessential Landscape

from: 04.07.2014 to: 05.10.2014
Museum für Fotografie

The same motif over and over again: a vast landscape of mountains, sweeping valleys, forests, meadows, and scattered hamlets and farmsteads. A new motif each time: the changes wrought by the seasons, the weather, and especially the ever-changing light that shapes this landscape. All of this is on view in the sixty large-format photographs shown in the Museum für Fotografie's Kaisersaal.

Since the 1970s, Michael Ruetz has been engaged in a project he calls "Eye on Time". Through the photographic medium, it seeks to reveal changes in the landscape. Ruetz selected over 600 points of observation in Germany, at which he documented both changing and unvarying structures, recreating the technical photographic factors as closely as possible. His piece "Timescape 817" was shot at the foothills of the Alps and is an especially rigorous examination of a wide visual field. In a meticulous experiment sustained from 1989 to 2012, Ruetz regularly photographed a carefully defined section of this landscape in 2,720 shots.

The sequence of images allows comparison over time and expands the limits of one's own immediate perception. They show majestic cloud formations, silent moonrises, dramatic thunderstorms, nebulous snowstorms, and extended solar eclipses. It requires patience to make one's own discoveries in this work, to take time for it, and to grasp that the subject of Michael Ruetz's photographs is time itself.

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