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Photographers Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk and Ann Pettersson Exhibit at Seelevel Gallery
Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk, Untitled, 2010. Photo: Courtesy Seelevel Gallery.

AMSTERDAM.- Photographers Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk and Ann Pettersson are fascinated by nature landscapes. It seems however that the search for nature plays a more important role than the nature itself. With archetypal nature as their source of inspiration or point of departure, they test the limits of authentic and artificial nature photography, not sidestepping a brush with abstraction.

In her latest work, Ann Petterson quickly lets go of reality in her nature images, mixing and transforming these into a hybrid depiction. she manipulates her photos, letting images overlap, or applies technical adjustments, playing with camera angles and choices of lighting. Fascinated by abstraction, she searches for a new dimension within the image. This could be a mood, feeling or primal force. The image therefore assumes a somewhat mythical charge, perhaps even one of estrangement.

'Ann Pettersson uses photography to construct a fictional reality. She deconstructs the conventional view of our surroundings and reveals a world unlike the one that we generally regard as being tangible. She dissociates herself from literal representation by reacting to the local conditions and manipulating these in such a way, that a dreamlike, sometimes illusory image is created.

Ann Pettersson reacts to the prevailing conventions and basic assumptions with which people regard their surroundings, and puts these expectations to the test by balancing the image between the real and the illusory. The landscape as a subject is flexible but remains genuine, however artificial the images sometimes appear. She examines and questions the reasoning behind this by formally distancing herself from that which reason dictates about her subject. The character of the landscape always serves as an allegorical tool for creating an image. Nature, the unnatural, human interventions and the resulting urban landscape are weighed against each other on various levels.

The character of the work approaches that of a drawing or a painting. Colours blend together and serve to distance the work from the original motifs. She disassembles the traditional, documentary interpretation of the photographic medium, in order to examine the boundaries of the plausible. In some of the pieces, the motifs cautiously come to the fore; like a glimpsed memory that evaporates in the blink of an eye. The time span between the exposures then becomes visible. While in other pieces the motifs become inextricably fused. Images emerge with an unadulterated photographic appearance.'

Cassandra Eeftinck Schattenkerk makes an allusion in his work to archetypal nature photography. In this series he aims to replicate geological and biological processes in his studio utilising physical elements. This results in hybrid landscapes wherein the creative process and construction are still discernible. He has in this light made landscapes of salt crystals which under the right condition and ingredients grow autonomously. He has included these in the exhibition together with pictures made in actual nature.

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