ClampArt is pleased to announce the opening of “’New Trees’ and ‘The Alphabet of New Plants,’” a selection of photographs by German photographer Robert Voit. The exhibition coincides with the long-anticipated release of Robert Voit’s monograph from Steidl (Hardcover, 152 pages, 60 color illus.).
At first glance, the large-format color photographs from the series “New Trees” seem to depict everyday woody perennial plants, distinctive only because of their oddly oversized proportions. On closer inspection, however, it becomes apparent that these are not trees at all—they are cell phone towers disguised by telecom companies to blend in with urban and rural surroundings. Appropriating the compositional techniques of Bernd and Hilla Becher, while simultaneously moving away from the Bechers’ rigidly “objective” stance, Voit’s images humorously highlight the absurdity of the awkward camouflage. Voit calls attention to the ubiquity of communication and surveillance technology in the present moment, while also subtly hinting to the shifting role of the natural world in the digital age. Voit’s “New Trees” are neither entirely natural nor entirely social—they exist in a liminal space between the real and the artificial.
Also featured in the exhibition is a brand new series by Robert Voit titled, “The Alphabet of New Plants.” Inspired by Karl Blossfeldt’s “The Alphabet of Plants (Original Forms of Art)” from 1928, Voit playfully repurposes the obsessive indexicality of natural history images in this body of work. These gorgeously meticulous close-up photographs of artificial plants highlight the tension between nature and its mass-produced simulacra. Extending the themes of “New Trees,” Voit again blurs the distinction between the natural and the social.
Robert Voit is a photographer based in Munich, Germany. His work has been exhibited widely throughout Europe and Asia. He is a graduate of the prestigious Düseldorfer Akademie, where he studied under Thomas Ruff.
The show is open through November 15, 2014.
Photographs by Lena Vassiliou