SATELLITE — BETHANIEN (2010)
Martina Hoogland Ivanow’s photographs convey a presence to the viewer which is both real and poetic. Their aesthetics are threatening and hypnotic to equal extents. These are short stories related on the basis of single images. The current exhibition in Künstlerhaus Bethanien is entitled "Satellite" and comprises a series of photographs of various “alternative” communities. Not least, the pictures investigate the love affairs and family relationships of the people portrayed; their involvement in these relationships or their alienation from emotional and social ties. In these images, Martina Hoogland Ivanow makes use of dark, fascinating aesthetics and raises a number of questions concerning the “outside” and being an outsider, which are intended not only to affect the subjects of her pictures, but the viewer of the photographs as well.
A photo book about Hoogland Ivanow’s last project will be appearing at the same time as the exhibition. The publisher SteidlMACK is releasing “Far Too Close” in October 2010. The book is a meditation, in pictures, on physical and emotional distance – that is, on closeness to a subject and distance from a place. Here, Hoogland Ivanow links family portraits and interiors with distant landscapes in the world. She spent many years travelling to stretches of land in Siberia, Lapland, the Island of Sakhalin and Tierra del Fuego – all places which have an unmistakeable history. In combination with photos of the artist’s own residential district, the images create a literary fairy-tale with an initial uncanny quality that is gradually transformed into a sense of familiarity.