Saturday, May 16, 2009


The Wandering Depth, 1999 © Rut Blees Luxemburg

Narrow Stage 1998 © Rut Blees Luxemburg

In Deeper, 1999 © Rut Blees Luxemburg

Attempt Of Seduction, 1999 © Rut Blees Luxemburg

Most of her images are gritty night-time views of a depopulated London, illuminated only by the eerie glow of streetlamps. This use of long exposures is a technique I have used within my own work allowing me to use the light emanating from the street only.

Each image in the series depicts an area of the city as a site of menace and as an arena for potential encounter. The lack of human presence makes it difficult to construct narrative content and opens up endless possibilities for the viewer to project questions onto the work. Blees Luxemburg followed A Modern Project with Liebeslied, a series of fourteen photographs taken between 1997 and 2000. These images, subtly influenced by the work of the German poet Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843), are more lyrical and abstract; yet still take the forgotten corners of night-time London as their main subject.

One theme that links all of Blees Luxemburg's work is her desire to make visible that which often goes unnoticed. By seeking out hidden spaces, and overlooked, abandoned or even threatening areas of otherwise familiar cities, Luxemburg presents the viewer with a key to understanding the particular nature of the urban environment. A bleak open-air car park for instance, its concrete surface marked with potholes and puddles, bears the trace of past neglect but, at the same time, these marks predict the future threat/promise of redevelopment by reflecting the surrounding office buildings. This place, nothing more than a rough area to park cars, becomes a place with history, a presence and a future.

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