• Aspen
  • Artist:
    Elmar Haardt
  • Material:
  • Year:
  • Price:
    21.420 €

200 x 250 cm
Cherry wood frame
Edition of 5 (3+2AP / AP2), from the serie “Land of Dreams”

Part of the exhibition >INFINITE NOW<

Land of Dreams – Artist Statement

The morning of November 9th 2016 felt like turning point. In that moment I decided to do my second project on the United States, a country I have always loved. The pictures I had taken over the past 15 years in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, China and the United States have never been purely documentary. They conveyed something else: The special character of a place, its atmosphere, condensed to the point where it becomes a symbol. “Land of Dreams“ is a parable of a torn country. Nature and civilization seem to fight over territorial sovereignty.

There is a special technique involved in creating this work. I always shoot from an elevated vantage point. The city should unfold before the viewer’s eyes, giving you an near-perfect overview. Every picture is made out of four to six 8 x 10 inch slides, digitally mounted to form the larger image. I take great care to adapt focus and exposure so that foreground, middle ground and background are equally sharp and perfectly exposed. The works are then printed at a laboratory in Düsseldorf, a process that takes several days.

This has the effect of bringing the world to an almost uncanny standstill. Smaller cameras heavily distort the image, adding a dynamic that isn’t really there. A single focus point emphasizes one area, while deemphasizing others. And a mere single exposure makes the sky very bright and the shaded foreground very dark. None of this mediation happens here. What we see instead is a more ‘objective’ picture, even though a lot of work has gone into creating it. It is an almost god-like view, made possible by technology, where everything is equal and seen in great detail, while nothing is more or less significant. There is no human emphasis or narrative.

Thus it feels as if you could see theses quotidian cities anew. You see how Phoenix was planned and Las Vegas grew out of the desert. You see the essence of New York, its history and division. Urban space and the surrounding landscape are always socially informed. They contain strong traces of the society that produced them. Sometimes I need to take a higher view from a mountain to get a strikingly sharp image of what we have become.

The series constist of 40 Pictures. The originals have a size of 80×100 inch (200x250cm)