September 25 – November 6, 2021
Nino Mier Gallery is pleased to present Dear Uncertainty, our first exhibition with Los Angeles based photographer Margarete Jakschik. Jakschik’s photographs are notable for their strikingly romantic compositions and placid color palettes that imbue a sense of nostalgia in everyday objects and scenes. Ten new photographs will be on view in Los Angeles from September 25 – November 6, 2021.
Jakschik works with a medium format camera to render her lushly detailed and colored photographs depicting moments of quiet obscurity. Such obscurity takes various forms, whether it be limbs decontextualized from their body as in Yours, postered-over windows on dirty, concrete buildings in My Imagination research I & II, or a bucolic clearing in the woods that is blocked off by three backlit trees in Where you’ll find me. Dear Uncertainty therefore cultivates an aesthetic of the almost-there: what has not quite burst into the real, fraught, moving world, but that is all the more charged for its stillness.
Jakschik’s mastery of cultivating affective potential energy in her photographs issues not just through her representations of obscurity and stillness, but also through her keen eye for the photographic punctum. As Roland Barthes wrote in Camera Lucida, “the photograph’s punctum is that accident which pricks me”— it is that which jabs at the viewer, evoking a surfeit of feelings and associations drawn out by a particularly novel, off-kilter detail in the image. These moments also summon new worlds, prompting viewers to ponder what else exists in the world of the photograph, beyond what is visible within the composition. It is as though Jakschik wishes to communicate not the primacy of an encounter, but rather the particularly fraught sentimentality produced by its mediation. For instance, in Feels so real to me, a white-haired woman regards a photo book displaying an image of a heavily made-up eye, and a single tear leaking out from it. Jakschik photographs her subject from a high angle, so that what little of the back of her head that is in the frame is out of focus. The viewer’s eye is instead drawn to the book she is holding, therefore occupying a split position: on the one hand, the viewer is asked to identify with the woman holding the book, as our sightline almost matches her own; but on the other hand, the viewer is asked to regard the scene as a whole and imagine what attachments and sentiments might be provoked in the woman viewing the single, tearful eye.
The process by which Barthes describes viewing a compelling photograph mirrors how Jakschik articulates her process. She takes an observational approach to photography, saying of her photographic subjects, “I never look for anything; things find me.” It is as though she were already disposed and sensitized to what might constitute a punctum once a particular scene is mediated by her camera. The power she imparts on the objects she photographs speak of her belief in the power and mutuality of her observational mode of photography; a power to not just reflect the world back to us as we usually digest it, but to reimagine it.
Margarete Jakschik (b.1974) has had recent solo exhibitions at Linn Lühn, Düsseldorf (2019), Shane Campbell Gallery (2016; 2017), Galerie Karin Guenther (2012), and Broadway 1602 (2011), and has been featured in group exhibitions at Neues Museum, Nürenberg (2021), Leopold-Hoesch-Museum (2021), Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (2020), Kunstsammlung NRW, Düsseldorf (2020), and Museum für Photographie Braunschweig, Braunschweig (2020).