Friday, July 10, 2015

About Capturing the Temporary

I’ve always be interested in spaces or places that were going to disappear.
Simone Rosenbauer

With a MA from the University of Applied Sciences Dortmund in Germany and a MFA from the University of New South Wales, where she is currently employed as a photography lecturer, the German born, Australia based photographer Simone Rosenbauer has for the last eight years brought the eye of the outsider to bear on her Australian experience.

 As she told the Try Hard Magazine’s Benjamin ChadbondI wouldn’t say that my style has changed since relocating to Australia, [although] I do think it’s been shaped by this new experience. For me this is what photography is all about in general. As a photographer I’m always researching and exploring new spaces or areas or topics.  I think maybe that’s what makes my work interesting, that I’m a German photographer with German style and influences making images in Australia, shaped by the Australian experience.”

On her first visit to the land down under in 2003 Rosenbauer experienced her first culture shock. As she recalls “Naively I actually thought it was going to be hot all year round. So when I actually arrived in Melbourne in July with only summer clothes I was not only totally shocked but I was utterly freezing! 

But the seed was shown for the photographic essay Small Museum that was to ultimately bring her worldwide recognition. During a road trip Rosenbauer was “inspired by those little towns and places that I saw” in general and the country town museums in particular. As she has said “Perhaps for most Australians these museums are little expected clichés on a family road trip, but for me they were new and quirky spaces, like nothing I had encountered before.”

Upon her return in 2007 Rosenbauer traveled the country for three years documenting a large variety of the small museums and their caretakers dotted throughout rural Australia. From the underground Old Timers Mine at Coober Pedy in the South Australian outback to the Surf World Museum in the Victorian seaside town of Torquay.

About which she has said “My photographic project that I completed prior to Small Museum was all about small shops and documenting the disappearance of small businesses. I felt that in 10 or 15 years those spaces, those businesses, may no longer exist. I had the same line of thought when creating the Small Museum archive. I truly wanted to document these spaces before they disappeared.

And it is a subject that Rosenbauer has continued to investigate. In her latest exhibition Like Ice in the Sunshine Rosenbauer tackles disappearance conceptually. About which the art life’s Sharne Wolff wrote “Combining the graphic elements of pop with a color field sensibility, Simone Rosenbauer’s minimal photographs of melting moments are an absolute treat. Positioning each subject over a saturated shade of pastel, the loosening shapes of familiar ice creams exude a playful summery feel. Rosenbauer’s slick images contrast the simple moments of childhood with the fleeting pleasures of time. Perhaps they’re also mouthing a subtle something on the effects of climate change?

Like Ice in the Sunshine is current on show at New York’s Laurence Miller Gallery until the 21st of August.

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