There are some careers that beckon to us all: ballerina, astronaut, archeologist…travel photographer. The lure of these vocations–the universal appeal of the adventure, the beauty and the excitement–are difficult to resist. And so I was drawn, like the proverbial moth, to the group show “Traveling through the Lens” at ReTramp Gallery in Neukölln. Four female friends collaborated on a small vernissage of photographs that “trace their journeys of observation through disparate locations and situations.”
Now, many of my favorite photographers are, in a sense, travel photographers: Robert Adams, Ed Ruscha, Andreas Gursky, Bernd and Hilla Becher; however, I have been privy to enough vacation slideshows to know that not all travel photography is good photography, and far less is art. And so, it was with a fair degree of skepticism that I was tempted to visit this show.
To Infinity…And Beyond
Upon my arrival, I have to say my initial reaction was relief and a wonderful sort of thrill. You see, I am an absolute sucker for a nicely curated show, and the simplicity of the small room ringed with a single line of photographs was a welcome antidote to the over-crowded, salon-style stagings I have been seeing so much of.
Photorgrapher Katrina James’ work. Photo: Chris Phillips
A slow survey of the work was equally satisfying. In the window, a beautiful, self-determined child stands squarely mid-frame in a bathing suit on a colorful beach. Reminiscent of Reineke Dykstra’s portraits, the unexpected strength of photographer Katrina James’ print subtly hints at the more insidious strength of the white hands clasped behind a blue jacket in Meriaam’s photo to the left. Well-composed, beautifully lit, and with striking, unexpected palettes, much of the work in the show is charming in an unassuming, quiet way.
Although there were occasional disappointments, like the close-up of the single rose resting on the ground (which is exactly as trite as you might imagine), overall the exhibition felt like an organic and authentic showing of some tasty morsels of travel photography. This is art for a rainy day, a lonely afternoon, or a special Sunday night. Captivating, nostalgic, charming, and inspiring, the work of “Traveling through the Lens” is enough to make me reconsider crossing “travel journalist” off my list of dream jobs.
- ReTramp Gallery – Group Show “Traveling through the Lens” – Friday February 8th – Sunday February 10th, 2013, 12am – 7pm, Finissage: Sunday 6-9pm [Price range of works: €150 – 400]
Article by Hannah Nelson-Teutsch