On view from August 14 October 17, Leica Gallery Salzburg
will present large-scale photographs by conceptual London-based artist Rolf Sachs. Camera in Motion: from Chur to Tirano, a project supported by Leica Camera AG, will feature snapshots of the spectacular landscape along the railway line Albula/Bernina, declared a World Heritage Site in 2008 by UNESCO. 13 photographs will unveil the impressive scenery throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions.
Mirrored in the speed of the journey, Sachs' photographs capture the instant of a fleeting moment, disclosing the inevitable passing of time. Through the contrast of the focused object and passing landscape, Sachs' pieces levitate between abstraction and reality, photography and painting, the latter suggested by the blurry quality of the landscape that, as if applied by lavish brushstrokes, becomes painterly. Sachs' subjects are houses, trains, and forests alternately bathed in a mix of light and shadow. Rooted to the ground, they silently witness the train rushing past them.
What the human eye cannot perceive, the camera captures in an instant. Sachs experimental approach to photography becomes evident in these surprising images, enabling the viewer to see an unknown reality that goes beyond real-life perception. Gaining its momentum from the trains growing velocity, Sachs exploratory working process seems to take on a life of its own, delivering unforeseen images of a unique and surreal quality.
In this project, Sachs delved into the phenomena of time. Starting in 2012, Sachs performed his photographic experiment over the period of one year. From the window of a moving train, he photographed the scenery along the Rhaetian railway line. The Leica S Camera enabled him to capture the landscape in impressive accuracy despite the train's high velocity.
In 2004, Sachs developed his first photographic body of work The Wild Emperor. Similarly, over the course of one year, at intervals of ten and a half minutes, his camera took pictures of the panoramic view of the surrounding alpine mountain range from a lodge situated in the Bavarian town of Rechenau. The resulting 50.000 images focus on the two majestic mountain peaks Der Zahme Kaiser (The Tame Emperor) and Der Wilde Kaiser (The Wild Emperor). Pending on the time of day, the photographs portray various moods. Furthermore, two years later, from 2006 2008, Sachs engaged in his second photographic experiment: A camera fastened to the Amazon Express boat sailing across the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal and along the Pacific Coast, captured the seas horizon in over 18.000 stunning images. Named after the boat, this body of work portrays the calm of the waters with its playful reflections of sunlight under an infinite and ever-changing sky.
Rolf Sachs was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1955 and studied in England and the United States. When he was in his teens, he was inspired by the art around him and, in the late Eighties, became an artist himself. His artistic activity includes photography, sculpture, set-design, and installation. Inspired by everyday objects and their materiality, he searches for the extraordinary and the unconventional within them and brings them to light in a conceptual language and multidisciplinary pieces.