Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Guido Baselgia: Light Fall

Magical, this probably describes best the sensations I felt when spending time with Guido Baselgia's photographs. And, clearly, time is needed when going through this book for just glancing through the pages will definitely not result in a rewarding experience. While contemplating these images I sometimes wondered whether I needed to know what I was looking at. Needless to say, knowing what I'm looking at influences my perception and the texts by Nadine Olonetzky, and by Andrea Gnam, provided some useful information although I must admit that I approached Gnam's essay "The Occurrence of Light: A Geology of Photography" with quite some resistence for the title suggests the typical pretentiousness of many soft science academics.
A morning long, 2 March 2013, S53°, Argentina
Copyright © Guido Baselgia

From Gnam I learned that Baselgia "captured the course of the sun in bulb exposure" and so produced images that "the eye cannot see as a total process." And: "What we see returns with slight deviations a year later, and can be recorded once again if we are there and the weather permits." 

Photographer Guido Baselgia travels the world, decides to put his large-format camera in a place of his choosing, a place that is often not easy to access, and then lets the camera do the work it is supposed to do: to capture how the light falls on landscapes. What Baselgia's camera recorded is fascinating, stunning, awe-inspiring, the quality of the photographs superb, the well-produced tome an invitation to contemplate things as they are but that the naked eye is not able to see.
A morning long, 2 March 2013, S53°, Argentina
Copyright © Guido Baselgia

As intrigued as I am by what Baselgia shows us, it gets increasingly on my nerves that photographers seem to think it sufficient to present what their cameras recorded without any supporting information. In my view, photographers should inform their public why they decided to take or make that and that photograph, and how the photos came about. In other words, I think the photographers themselves should provide information about their creation process and not leave it to professional interpreters, except of course when the photographers haven't got a clue what they are actually doing and the professional interpreters have to explain it to them (and, needless to say, might get it all wrong).
Finis Terrae, 12 June 2005, 17:30 hrs, N70°, Norway 
Copyright © Guido Baselgia

Guido Baselgia
Light Fall
Photographs / Fotografien 2006-2014
Scheidegger & Spiess, Zurich 2014

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