WALD /forest  2009 – 2012

The idea of the forest has been imaginary for centuries. It has inscribed itself emphatically in the collective memory through fairy-tale and mythical narratives. In these, the figurative essence of the forest is usually understood as a psychological retreat in which childhood longings and fears can endure. But to what extent does the regressive foil currently cover our civilizational perspective on the forest? What does it mean in concrete terms, what do we recognize when we visit the forest?

Michael Lange explored these questions in his current book and exhibition project Forest. Over a period of three years, he roamed Germany’s forests at dusk and twilight. With a sure instinct, he sought out those places of retreat where the imaginings of childhood are condensed with sober documents of nature into impressive visual imprints. They bear witness to the belated venture of the adult ego to finally reach that place for which the childish mind has longed for all these years.

Lange’s forest scenes stand out as emphatically timeless images of nature that seem both mythical and real. Atmospherically, his motifs are imbued with a deep pacification and sublimity. One of the peculiarities of the pictures is that they retain a mystery in their contemplation. They draw from the moments of fading or awakening light a concentrate that can almost be called tender. The defining question here is how silence can arise in the picture.

The failure of man’s subjective categories in the forest forces a heightened alertness. In the photographic images of Michael Lange, an artistic strategy has grown out of this heightened alertness. It is probably most comparable to the experience for which the poets of German Romanticism invented their own word: Waldeinsamkeit. Christoph Schaden

There are last copies of the LTD edition of WALD /forest which can be ordered in the store.

Editions prints are available in various sizes. For further inquiry please contact the studio or Robert Morat Gallery in Berlin.