The Open Sky Above

I started to think about this photographic project as a result of my personal history. After I had escaped the communist regime of East Germany, an intense dream pointed out the story of my very own population that was forced to live in a tree top world, high up in the air, isolated from anything else, not allowed to question their allegedly perfect environment. A variety of almost touchable but at the same time symbolic images came to me which have been influencing the way I approach reality ever since essentially. During this intense internal viewing I doubted the idyllic quality of the world I belonged to and decided to leave that place heading down a tree trunk into total uncertainty. My very personal attempt to find a place to put down my feet eventually.

 The intensity of this visual and almost spiritual experience made me try to “record” and re-visualize those internal images using my external tool: a camera.

Here is a selection of my work. to see more, please go to

http://www.steffipusch.com

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This Strange Dream Upon the Water

Charles Dickens once described it as “This strange dream upon the water”. Yes. Last time I went to Venice, late in 2013, I thought I might try to capture the essence of all my impressions, of all those rational and irrational and emotional layers of this place. So I took my pinhole camera, squeezed it into the first available corner of Vaporetto No 1, held it tight in a somehow awkward position among too many tourists and released the shutter when the water urged us to jump up and down most on the Canale Grande. This combination of water and movement, up and down, of reflection and light, of fairy like buildings and traffic noises. All at once and you can’t really believe it. And you neither can capture nor record it. If you are lucky, you can try to sense a kernel of truth of what this strange dream is all about.

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An artist’s home

I recently visited my friend in the far north of Eastern Germany. She was it who introduced me to the work of the artist Otto Niemeyer-Holstein and his beautiful house in the tiny village called Lüttenort on the Island of Usedom. He was forced to make his home there when the Nazis wanted him, so he took his mother and his family and an old railway car and started to build his refuge by the sea. It now has been turned into a beautiful cultural place – and still it has the charm of an artist’s place where you expect him to step around the corner any minute.

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Paths

Interestingly I met somebody yesterday who works around the idea of paths , journeys and marks. I find this very inspiring. To me paths are man made lines, marks people left in decades and centuries. Something remarkable and memorable, something familiar or very new.

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Somerleyton Hall

Last Year I read W.G. Sebald’s “The Rings of Saturn” and eventually went to Suffolk to visit a few places he describes in his wonderful poetic language (being German, I read it in German and am still amazed by his refusal of using modern German, which he thought was rather meagre). Well, Somerleyton Hall was one of those places, but when we arrived the house was already closed. So I explored the gardens in a sort of greyish early evening light and felt fallen out of time, really. Almost nobody else was there, silence and the odd feeling of an Italian castle at the wrong place. A few surreal benches and corners caught my attention – and then the famous maze – easy to take, we thought, but with unusually huge hedges and a strange little teahouse in the middle where we rested quite a while. Extraordinary silence again. I didn’t take more than three photographs and only learnt today that Somerleyton’s maze and the Hall itself is supposed to be one of the most haunted places in Britain! I didn’t meet one of those unhappy creatures consciously, but I felt a bit strange that evening out there, I must admit…

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and the maze!!

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