The Haus am Waldsee presents the Berlin-based photographer Beate Gütschow (1970) with more than 20 large-scale photographs and videos from her latest production. Idyll and utopia are pivotal concepts for this artist, who studied art with Bernhard Blume and Wolfgang Tilmans from 1993 to 2000 in Hamburg. Her landscapes and cityscapes are reflections of formulas as they were developed in the landscape painting of the 17th and 18th century, when nature was constructed as something highly artificial. Analogically Gütschow constructs her images from photos using digital collage techniques.
In her latest works Gütschow develops cityscapes devoid of human or natural life. She takes the uncontrolled growth of the soulless, interchangeable deserts of concrete that are our metropolises to the extent that the observer is unable to determine his wherabouts. In “somewhere else” the artist, with her precise observation and painstakingly careful work, creates a picture of the future that conjures up the view of human hubris as a vision of horror before our very eyes.
Upon finishing her studies, Gütschow began an intense examination of the interface between photography and painting in the time of Caspar David Friedrich. In a time in which landscapes were still created inside a studio, the utopia of a landscape consisted in its construction and idealization, expressed by great landscape painters such as Claude Lorrain, John Constable, Nicolas Poussin, Jacob van Ruisdael, Claude Vernet and Thomas Gainsborough. It was not until after the invention of photography as well as plein-air painting that this was to change in the course of the 19th century.
A catalogue will accompany the exhibition (ISBN 97-3-8321-901-0).