Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung – Freddy Langer


“The Space Between Memory and Expectation” – Renate Aller

Thursday Jan 20, 2022
Page R 4  print version


Below rough translation from German

Even the Highest Peak Turns into a Speck of Dust

From the desert to the snow: The Silhouette of the Rocky Mountains in front of Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes

On the last pages of the book, Renate Aller reveals where in the world she photographed her pictures, which is important to know on the one hand and on the other hand it doesn’t matter at all. Because she is primarily concerned with the idea of landscape, which is why these references serve much less as a localization, instead, they show how irrelevant it is whether the photograph shows the peaks of the Alps, the Andes, or the Himalayas, whether the photos are referring to the waters of the Atlantic Ocean or a river in the rainforest of Colombia.  Renate Aller writes in her short introduction: “The silent and continuous erosion trickling from the top of the mountains, via the glaciers, tropical forests, sand dunes, icefields into the ocean”. And when the last grain of sand has been washed into the sea, one must conclude that the world as we know it is over. Then everything is dissolved. “The Space Between Memory and Expectation” is a melancholic book. 

It is not only about transience, even if the consequences of climate change are unmistakably documented in many of the photos. Rather, the images more so convey something of the strength and power, with which the continental plates push against and over one another. Last but not least, they resemble the expedition photographs of the nineteenth century, when American photographers inspired by the theory of “catastrophism” interpreted downright, mountains and deserts in their photographs as the result of tectonic battles.

Renate Aller does not console us with nature when she depicts worn rock or fragmented icebergs precisely down to the last detail and presents them as primal substance rather than landscape. 

And yet their peaks appear magnificent, bordering on the sublime, such as the colossal, rocky, isosceles triangle that pushes awe-inspiringly into a gray sky. It is called “Everest Region”, surprisingly short, but to the point.

read the original review in German (via PDF)

Renate Aller, 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

  • Hardcover
  • ca. 34 x 25 cm, 144 pages, 64 color images
  • ISBN: 978-3-96900-027-4

For European collectors, click here to order book

USA collectors for signed copies: via Photoeye books 

For collectors outside Europe and the US pls contact: Kehrer Verlag Foreign Distribution 
Sandra Dürdoth
Phone: +49 (0)6221 / 64920-27

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