Selbstsam – Scopal Signatures

The images taken by Jörg Kretzschmar are different in that they go beyond the conventional frame of photography. To start with, the larger-than-life portraits affect us in a strangely personal manner – generating an intimate bond with the wild animal portrayed. Such effect is possible because Kretzschmar does not use regular tele lenses, but, curiously, a telescope with extreme focal length. It is the very telescope birders and nature lovers prefer when wanting to be part of what they are watching in the mountains or by the sea. For more than 10 years Jörg Kretzschmar has devoted himself to this specific technique of creating imagery. His scopal photography as well as his publications, lectures and workshops have gained him an international reputation as vanguard in this new area of photography called digiscoping.

With the cycle of images on display Jörg Kretzschmar takes digiscoping even one step further, blurring the lines between nature photography and artistic expression. He boils down the process of observation to its essence: the one instant of the picture being taken. Image by image he thereby makes us think about the momentariness of being. As part of this process the animal seems to be turned into a symbolic reflection of one’s own quest for meaning and experience. Even more: on second sight we, as observers, partake in those gracious, sometimes melancholic experiences of self so characteristic of being alive. Pictorial minimalism in this sense equals a process of emotional condensation. What emerges are images of a new and different nature, intense in their proximity, presence, and sensuality. Portraits that lay bare states of being self and that open up narrative strands of their own: stories and statements about wild life – and, perhaps even more so, about being human.

Jörg Kretzschmar (*1967) lives and works in Bochum and elsewhere.