/25 Altered landscape

Wolfgang Zurborn


“Drift” is representing a way of seeing the fractured modern world in its overlapping images and contexts. I am interested in finding the sublime in the ridiculous condition of modern life with a Dadaist awareness of the found object—the ready-mades of architecture, advertising, and the masses in the street, and with a surrealist sense of humour in the collision montage of juxtaposed, multi-layered images combined on a single picture plane. I am detaching the pieces of images from their referents and recombine them into a new mosaic that remains a straight photograph. My photography, at once thoroughly modern in its attention to the post-modern effects of signs and symbols, is, however, thoroughly classical and refers the viewer back to the fact that what the camera does best is to represent the world in front of the lens.

The unique possibilities presented by the medium of photography are comprised precisely of the dialogue with the outside world and the ability to continually question the perception of it according to one’s criteria, in order to expose it, transform it into a visual experiment. The key to the quest for order in photography, involving the interplay of bodies, objects, signs and spaces transforming them to a legible structure, to a comprehensible composition, is not to lose sight of chaos. It is precisely this chaos that gives photography its unlimited liveliness.

Normally, we would hardly take notice of many of these objects, which appear insignificant and banal to us. Torn away from their purely functional context, in fragmented form, visually compact, they take on such a highly sensual aura, that they develop deep associations for the observer. We don’t look at things. Things look at us.