The Space Between Memory and Expectation

monograph published by Kehrer Verlag, with essays by Makeda Best, Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography at the Harvard Art Museums, and Courtney J Martin, director of the Yale Center for British Art

The silent and continuous erosion trickling from the top of mountains, via glaciers, tropical forests, sand dunes, icefields of Patagonia, European glaciers into the ocean and the urban waterways of New York’s harbor.

Tracing an unbroken line, the eye is guided from one sweeping landscape to the next without doubting their separateness in location and origin, showing the interconnectedness of distant environments, opening up conversations between the different (political) landscapes in which we live.

The interval, the space in between, is and is about the moments during which apparently nothing happens, but without which no change could happen. “The Space between Memory and Expectation” is another way to describe this state of stillness and transition.

Playing with the effect an image has on us by putting two visual representations together, or a grid of multiple images, we make the connection of multiple experiences as we would in the linguistic world where the placement of multiple words creates the meaning depending on their placement and relationship to each other.

These landscapes are familiar to us and at the same time appear abstract when presented in representation.

You enter a non-quantifiable space when engaging with these images. Disembodiment due to the loss of sense of scale – the equation between your body and what you experience. You look at the image and you start to negotiate your own position regarding what is presented to you. From an abstract perception you proceed to create a reality for yourself and make the absence into a presence. The abstract image seems to be listening to you and you feel “touched” by its non-quantifiable space.

The apparent “still” nature we romanticize is an ever changing and moving condition with the disappearance of the permafrost being the main cause for landslides.

Entire glaciers disappear and will never return again, our main source for drinking water and growing crops.

I like to create an experience for the viewer upon entering an exhibition space. The visitor feels embraced by a continuous landscape. The eye is guided from one sweeping landscape to the next without doubting their separateness in location and origin. I intentionally pair images for each installation, playing with both representation and abstraction to form an
immersive environment to show the interconnectedness of distant environments.

The silent and continuous erosion trickling from the top of the mountains, via the glaciers, tropical forests, sand dunes, icefields into the ocean.


Similar to the sand dune images from Ocean | Desert, I am engaging the viewer with these giants in all their detail, the veins and textures of the rocks in their constantly transient state. I am isolating the landscape from its expected surroundings, using and presenting the familiar and the known in an intimate way, relating to parallel realities from different locations, opening up conversations between the different (political) landscapes in which we live.

-RENATE ALLER

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