Meanwhile, after Caspar David Friedrich, 1774-2017, Paysage lacustre, 1810, 69,2 x 103 cm

In 2008, using high-definition analog photo reproductions, Falco began to « reprise » a selection of works by the painter and master of German Romanticism, Caspar David Friedrich. He’s fascinated not only by the painted image’s ability to inspire reverie but also by its archival dimension and its function as a tool for thinking about our past, present, and future perceptions of and concerns about landscape.

We can measure space in steps or centimeters, but how do we depict the distance between two ideas of a contemporary present that are separated from each other by more than a century?

Falco hoped to materialize this distance and to translate it into images by adding and putting together meaningful contemporary elements while still respecting the painter’s pictorial treatment.

Each of these montages was subjected to multiple attempts, some of them in vain, first to photograph the elements embedded from the painter’s point of view (with a similar height, perspective, and ambient light), then to faithfully reproduce the brush strokes and the cracks or other signs of age.

What does remain of the intentions of painters whose uniqueness, originality, and completion are challenged by an “update” of his paintings? The confusion created by this hybridization calls into question the relationships between painting, photography and real, especially where landscape is concerned. This series, thereby speaks to how much landscape is a cultural representation, a construction of the gaze created by painting, literature, photography, cinema and media.

Through the painter’s works, he documents and questions directly or incidentally the ambiguous, sometimes contradictory, relationships we maintain with nature and landscape and the elements that make them up. How do natural and artificial elements come together? How do they shape our representations of landscapes?

Meanwhile, after Caspar David Friedrich, 1774-2017, Le Riesengebirge au clair de lune, 1810, 101,61 x 167 cm

Meanwhile, after Caspar David Friedrich, 1774-2017,

Paysage de montagne dans la brume, 1808, 71 x 104 cm

Meanwhile, after Caspar David Friedrich, 1774-2017, Le Watzmann, 1824-1825, 133 x 170 cm

David Falco, born 1978 (FR), lives and works in Poitiers, France. He graduated from the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Montpellier. For more than ten years, he has been exploring our relationship with the world and especially our understanding of space, nature, and landscape.

His work « Spitzberg 78° 15’ N 16° E » won the Kodak Critics Prize (2008) and the series "Meanwhile, after Caspar David Friedrich, 1774-2017 » was finalist at the 5th edition FOTOFILMIC17 travelling exhibition (2017-2019).

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