A Northern Land Where Young Men Go to Sing with the Trees
JANUARY 13TH, 2018 - MARCH 4TH, 2018
FIERMAN presents A Northern Land Where Young Men Go to Sing with the Trees, a solo exhibition by German-born New York-based artist Dietmar Busse. It is the artist’s first gallery solo show. The exhibition is comprised of gelatin silver prints of Busse’s photographs taken in his native rural northern Germany which are then altered via darkroom processes and photographic inks, haunting hybrids that document the seen and unseen.
Busse’s practice is steeped in the history and materiality of photography. The photographs that serve as the starting point for the work depict the residents of the small farming village in northwestern Germany where the artist was raised and where his family still lives. The black and white images recall August Sander’s iconic Face of Our Time in their shared simplicity and direct and honest investigation into human archetypes. If Sander used photography as a declarative tool, seeking and naming truth via image, Busse plumbs the psychological depths both behind and within the image, creating a fantastical vision that extends beyond the camera’s grasp.
The artist uses a series of photographic bleaches and dyes, both in the printing process and following, to fashion otherworldly portraits of ordinary people. A young German soldier becomes a Goya maja, while a hunting rifle-toting hausfrau emerges a shrouded shaman. The resulting images resist straightforward identification and instead exist in the realm of dreams, a psychic landscape grounded in the real yet imbued the hallucinatory liberation of the imaginary.
Dietmar Busse (b. 1966) lives and works in New York. He was born in Stolzenau, Germany and as a young man learned the world of photography in Madrid before relocating to New York in 1991. His work has recently included in group exhibitions at the Museum Schloss Moyland, Bedburg-Hau, Germany; Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam; Invisible-Exports, New York; Museum Sinclair Haus, Bad Homburg; the Leslie Lohman Museum, New York, among other venues. His work has been publicized in The New Yorker, TIME, The London Independent, The New York Times Magazine and Interview, among other publications.