Some people might say that technology has, indeed, influenced the art world, but it can never replicate the stunning visuals and the exquisite craftsmanship as seen in the electronic-free past. I agree that under the power of technological advancement, art has changed a lot; but such progress has also made it harder for artists to gain recognition, as the competition pool has been ridiculously enlarged. Even though technology has assisted people in creating imaginations that would never have been solidified and shared with others, it also strains the artist to think of stronger concepts, just to be known. Most of these ideas are not only out-of-this world, but they also demand and push for further technological advancements, turning the relationship between technology and art into an ever looping cycle.
In a world where anyone with a smartphone is able to shoot, edit, and publish photos; it is only normal to find more advanced photography products to be released in the market. As the winner of the Sony World Photography Award 2016 (3rd prize in Architecture category), German artist Stephan Zirwes uses aerial photography to create his works, and he has even used the 4K ultra high resolution to shoot his latest video works. His works, thus, appear to be very realistic, but they are so perfect that they question our minds. It is as if he has flattened our world into a 2-dimensional plane, and has blurred the line between what is real and what is fake.
Instead of telling a story, Zirwes presents us with different aesthetically pleasing bird’s eye view images which evokes an emotion. They connote on the ideas of “structures, contrasts and connections”, and at the same time, digs out a deeper understanding on the idea of the “gazing eye”. These structures he has featured sometimes include people, and if they do, the pea-sized figures will be the only moving component in the image. Set against a static background, the contrast between the moving and the still makes the image appear even more surreal. Since there is no particular plot, each piece of his work is sort of like a missing page from a book; a regular and random day in life; or a lost postcard that has arrived at the wrong door. Viewers can make sense of the content literally, but since the depiction is so detached, the mundane subject suddenly becomes a mind boggling question. It makes if feel as if the viewers are extraterrestrial beings, looking back on earth, and this, would most possibly cause one to suddenly come to some sort of self realization. Zirwes’ works, thus, are capable of introducing viewers with a new perspective in perceiving the everyday life.
Moving Stills by Stephan Zirwes
13th of May to 16th of June, 2016
opiom Gallery: 11 Chemin du village, 06650 Opio
Top image: Towels Left, Zeeland, The Netherlands
G02-vegas_1339, Las Vegas, USA
Botnang, Stuttgart, Germany/ Watertower, Dubai, EAU
Steg – Landing Stage, Mallorca, Spain/ Skimarathon, Engadin, Switzerland