Visual Dualism – Dolomites

Posted by Helge Zirkl | September 23rd, 2012 Share

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As the title suggests the book especially presents forms of visual contrasts. However, in reality, it achieves a lot more since it brings us face to face with the basic constitution of human perception and its interpretation. Humans primarily perceive through their sense organs and need contrasts to be able to interpret the information and recognise its qualities: small and large, light and dark, loud and quiet, thick and thin, full and empty, contour and space, shape and form, natural and artificial – the list could go on and on since it builds the basis for human perception, per se.

Artists know this well and use this leeway to allow us to experience the world in which we live as pure potential that needs to be interpreted anew at every moment. They enable us to discern new connections and to see the seemingly familiar things with completely new eyes.

Good pictures are not about the composition or the reproduction of motifs but about creating that freedom for interpretation wherein the observer can see and experience the represented object in newer ways, time and again.

Peter Mathis presents this with masterful certainty in his photographs of the Dolomites (ISBN 978-3-9503376-0-0, $89). The dualistic principle of the chiaroscuro composition creates the focal point. He works with light and the resultant shadowed areas and their grading like a painter with his palette of paints. ❚

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