/15 Mountains

Misha De Ridder


Sometimes natural phenomena can become so estranged and mysterious, that we are inclined to describe them as unreal realities. It might be the extraordinary shape of a tree, a mountain, a shadow, a cloud or the mirroring reflection of nature in a lake, but it is foremost the unfamiliarity of the natural aesthetics of reality. The photos in Abendsonne literally refer to such an unfamiliar natural phenomenon, a phenomenon that appears twice a year during the end of the autumn and the beginning of spring for the period of one week in an area in the Swiss Alps. During the winter season a village is permanently covered by the shadow of a high mountain in the west, which eliminates all direct sunlight. A week before darkness falls, the sun appears one more time after it has set every evening. A mysterious phenomenon known as ‘Abendsonne’.

Misha de Ridder’s works can be seen as attempts to capture these temporary phenomena and atmospheres of nature within the still medium of photography. By seeking for the absence of human intervention, by waiting for the climax of the temporal aesthetic and by pushing the camera to its technical limits De Ridder’s photographs become both exotic reports as autonomous artificial worlds. The photos presented are visual repetitions of the area where the ‘Abendsonne’ appears, at a lake, known for it’s flat, almost mirror-like surface, taken under different natural circumstances. This juxtaposition of difference and equality evokes questions about authenticity, originality, reality and the representation of reality within the medium of photography. An ambiguous reference to the unreal reality of the ‘Abendsonne’.