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"As White as Snow, as Red as Blood"
2004-10-29 until 2004-12-18
Giedre Bartelt Galerie
Now that even glaciers are melting and White Christmas in the country is almost only encountered in songs, snow as a motif of photography, too, seems to be on the retreat. But cinema is different. After Louis Trenker's black and white classics of the 30s, snow has more and more often been playing an important role in colour movies - from East Asian dramas ("Ballad of Narayma", 1982; "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. and Spring", 2003) to Scandinavian Thrillers ("Smilla's sense of snow", 1996).
Both series of colour photography at the heart of this exhibition on snow are also more easily comparable with examples from film-history than from photography. The Polish artist Bogna Burska (b. 1974, in 2003 participation in the exhbition "Bialy Mazur", in the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin) photographed bloody traces in the snow ("Road", "Thaw", both 2003). This is a key motif in one of the most successful movies of recent years: "Fargo" by the Coen brothers (1996).
Topic of the exhibition is, not unlike in the movies, the variety of motifs, forms and contents which deal with one subject: snow. Apart from classics of Lithuanian and Latvian photography (Antanas Sutkus, b. 1939; Algimantas Kuncius, b. 1939; Mara Brasmane, b. 1944), there are also middle-aged and young artists who present snow in unexpected situations and from surprising points of view. The Estonian Toomas Kalve (b. 1965) took pictures of himself naked in the snow while concucting day-to-day work, the Belorussian Igor Shavchenko (b. 1962) looks into mutual effects of sunlight and a landscape in the snow, and Andrey Chezhin (b. 1960) from St. Petersburg questions contents and structures of photos by amateurs and professionals (old photographic art is unthinkeable without the motif of snow) by confronting them with drawing pins. Liina Siib (b. 1963) from Estonia is very close to film when she composes filmstills to produce a series of images about a parting on a winter's day.
Thus snow and photography of snow do still exist in the winter season, at least in Eastern Europe - the origin of all photos in this exhibition.