Next Thursday 14th September, a retrospective solo exhibition by the South African photographer Johann Ryno de Wet (Johannesburg, 1982) opens at the camara oscura art gallery within the framework of the Apertura Madrid Gallery Weekend, and that will also take part in the UNSEEN fair in Amsterdam from 21st to 24th September.
“The Visitor” series is a meditation on civilisation and its interactions with nature. It is an exploration of thoughts, feelings and ideas about the relationship we have with the world around us. We see the world through a veil of acceptance of the way the world works and co-exists with nature. This series attempts to lift the veil from the viewers’ eyes, blunted by the norms and conventions of the civilised world, by looking at things from a curious but indifferent viewpoint.
This series tries to show the world around us from a perspective that is completely unfamiliar to our way of seeing the world. Taking on this viewpoint paints mundane objects in an unusual light, turning ordinary landscapes into dreamlike places. What is most compelling about these scenes is the juxtaposition between the manmade objects and nature. When viewing this relationship through the eyes of the visitor, one could see it as a battle between two forces, one constantly trying to resist and overcome the other. This series attempts to observe this relationship from the gaze of the visitor, hopefully allowing the viewer to see the world the way Ryno sees it, a science fiction world filled with strange and mysterious places that are alive with the tension between these two forces.
In the tenth anniversary of our close collaboration with the artist -initiated with the foundation of the gallery- we wanted to showcase this new project in the context of Ryno’s previous series, aiming to expand our view over ten years of a recognizable and consistently revealing work.