Luzia Simons - Out of the Blue, 19 August - 24 September 2016

Luzia Simons uses modern scanning techniques to produce floral photographs and videos thematising both the ideal of blossoming beauty and lushness on one hand, and the fragility and inevitable decay of plant matter on the other.

 

Colours play a central role in Out of the Blue and are in many ways the point of departure for Luzia Simons’ new works. The title refers to the colour that is not present in any of the works. The green and red nuances of the plants and the deep black of the backgrounds dominate while the blue, in spite of its absence, functions as an ever present possibility within the works. The unpredictable and the transformation are also at the centre of Simons’ video works where the exotic blooms comes mysteriously to life through the film.

 

The works have a very clear connection to the Flemish still life paintings and are filled with the vanitas symbolism of the 16th and 17th centuries as well as the scientific herbaria of the 18th century. Simons’ works are not only concerned with warnings about the impermanence of everything, though; the works also tell a widely branched story of flowers as loaded cultural symbols relating to the histories of colonialism, art and science.

 

With an underlying remark on the speed with which we destroy nature as a fundamental theme for our epoch, Luzia Simons’ works also have a strong critical and social element, and these themes intersect in her works. The political and aesthetic elements are inseparable from one another; references to art history are as explicit as those to economic and commercial conditions and also cultural exchange.

 

Out of the Blue also play on the contrast between the art historical remnants in the works and the very modern, digital techniques that are used to execute them. Luzia Simons’ work is situated in this cross section between the apparent and the coded, between unadorned reproduction and metaphor.

 

 

Luzia Simons (b. 1953, Brazil) is a graduate in History and Fine Arts at the Sorbonne University in Paris and she has lived and worked in Germany since 1986. Simons is represented in numerous collections in both Europe and South America, among these: Graphische Sammlung der Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Fotosammlung Pirelli at Museu de Arte Moderna in Sao Paulo, Centro Wifredo Lam in Havana, Fonds National d´Art Contemporain in Paris and Brandts. Since June 2016 Luzia Simons' large scale installation Vanitas rerun has been on show at Archives Nationales in Paris.

 

Luzia Simons, Out of the Blue, installation view, Galerie Mikael Andersen, Copenhagen, 2016, photo: Jan Søndergaard