Informing Contexts: Week 8, Commentary on Daniel Gustav Cramer's 'Trilogy' project

This week I was able to take part in a forum where we were asked to comment on the nature of the development of the German photographer,  Daniel Gustav Cramer’s ‘Trilogy’ project. For this project Cramer has very bravely attempted to make a whole of three themes; Woodland, Underwater and Mountain.

Conor Clark:  Studio Visit. Daniel Gustav Cramer,  5th November, 2015

Conor Clark: Studio Visit. Daniel Gustav Cramer, 5th November, 2015

Daniel Gustav Cramer; "Mountain 03 domobaal"

Daniel Gustav Cramer; "Mountain 03 domobaal"

Whilst the edit has I think been reasonably successful for the Woodland and Mountain themes, especially those images with shadow/mist (woodland) and cloud (mountain), the underwater images are much less moody and don’t seem to fit well together at all. I fully agree with the comment that the images struggle to give any consistent narrative. Darwent’s comments about them being all being fundamentally abstract I struggle with, though it could certainly be said of a number, I don’t feel it applies to the information rich others. It’s interesting to have them grouped as a trilogy, but does there connectedness truly stand up? Is the “absence of aspect” that Dillon identified sufficient? I have to question whether the concept is too wide.

If he was to proceed further with this project he could consider distilling his current edit to explore the unsettling effect of having a significant part of a landscape/nature image obscured. Perhaps shifting the underwater theme to images  obscured by a cloudy sea bottom or bubbly turbulence maybe. The other themes slightly narrowed to Mountain-cloud and woodland-mist.

A rather more dramatic shift would be to drop the underwater element altogether, but this seems to deny the viability of what should be a very reasonably concept. As it stands I think the images selected question rather than support the concept. Cramer’s mountain images are I feel a very interesting counterpoint to the dramatic mountain landscapes of his fellow German, the 19th century painter Caspar David Friedrich. They sort of provide the other side of that narrative.

In regard to my own work I guess it show the importance of good selection and consistency in approach. I also can’t help noticing that it seems so much easier to review someone else’s work than my own. It makes me wonder if I’m missing some very useful elements that I could bring in myself.

 

REFERENCES

Anderson, H (2014) ‘Interview with Daniel Gustav Cramer at his Friedrichshain studio’ Berlin Art Link on-line magazine, Berlin http://www.berlinartlink.com/2014/11/05/daniel-gustav-cramer/ (accessed 1st April, 2018)

Darwent, C. (2007) ‘Daniel Gustav Cramer: Mountain (Trilogy Part Three)’. Domobaal April [Online]. Available at: https://www.domobaal.com/exhibitions/41-07-daniel-gustav-cramer-01.html [accessed 1st April 2018]

Dillon, B (2007) Art Review, issue 13 pp 102–104 Canterbury. Note; used text from http://danielgustavcramer.com/infotxt.html (accessed 1st April, 2018)