Jochen Lempert - Two Poems, Some Pairs
On 27 March 2018, MUT presents Two Poems, Some Pairs, a solo show by German photographer Jochen Lempert (Moers, 1958) specifically created by the artist for the Fiorano space. On the occasion of its second exhibition, MUT pays tribute to the winner of the 2017 edition of “This is Not a Prize.” The Two Poems, Some Pairs represents the largest project realized by Jochen Lempert in Italy, and his first solo show in an Italian non-profit space.
An eclectic photographer with a background as a biologist and a past as an experimental film artist, Lempert is an explorer who walks in nature, crosses cities, focuses on simple trees or complex botanical micro-organisms, taxidermied animals, insects swarms, flocks of birds that draw shapes in the sky, different textures of leaves and light beams that penetrate them, stones in the sand, as well as details of human beings and forms of life normally invisible in the urban context. Based on chance, on one hand, and carefully constructed on the other, Lempert captures his subjects also without the camera, as in the almost abstract photograms made in the darkroom by exposing different organic materials to light, or by placing them directly on the negative.
Lempert’s photography is strictly analogue and rigorously black and white. He develops the images himself with a precision that brings out their physicality, heightened by the choice of displaying the photographs without frames, freely in contact with the walls of the exhibition space. Fundamental for the artist are the relationships created by juxtaposing specific works, where compositional and formal rigor are combined with the symbolic or evocative power of associations.
The title of the exhibition Two Poems, Some Pairs suggests the almost musical dialogue between similar and different images. Opposites, symmetries and connections emerge between man, animal, plant, landscape, atmospheric phenomenon and energy: it is the rhythm of the composition that gives rise to the total work. Infinite links emerge between positive and negative, subject and background, form and metaphor, line and space: the perfectly controlled gray tones often make the photographs resemble ethereal drawings traced with charcoal on paper.
Lempert combines a scientific approach with a strongly poetic language. On the one hand he explores, gathers, catalogues, organizes his subjects, while on the other he grasps their lyrical and formal aspects. The viewpoints through which Lempert captures his images reject an anthropocentric perspective on the world, but they do not set out to idealize nature with respect to humankind. In his work space, time and hierarchies are nullified in the name of a “co-evolution” that puts animals, plants, organisms, human beings and their activities on the same level.