Although not immediately visible to the beholder, the photographic works of Michael Reisch circumvent our common conceptions of landscape and nature. Although the artist begins by taking photographs of real landscapes with his large-format camera, he goes on from there to process them digitally. When doing so, Reisch purges the photographic material of any specifically local features and signs of human intervention, thereby removing the basis for prior narrative in the interest of creating entirely autonomous images of landscapes that simply do exist as such. Given that the images are photographs, one tends to accord them a special connection to reality or to even assume the authenticity of what is shown. This, however, is subverted by the process of the image’s production. In his latest works, Reisch takes the process of detaching his photographs from the prior image of the encountered reality even further by radically reducing their color and form to the point that they reveal no more than geometric forms in black and white. This gives rise to abstract images, which, liberated from any expectation of representation, have an immediately striking, hallucinatory effect. Virtual spaces appear on the two dimensional surfaces that refer to nothing other than themselves in the image. This allows Reisch to further explore the possibilities that are open to images beyond mere reflection. Each one of these images represents an independent hyperreality, which, compared to his earlier landscape photographs, includes no aspirations of representing reality. Instead, they openly address the issue of their artificiality. In effect, the medial reality has been exchanged for a pure mediality.
Born in Aachen in 1964, lives and works in Düsseldorf.