Fabian Knecht: Isolation (52°33’44.1”N 14°03’12.8”E)
Buckow, Märkische Schweiz, Germany, 7— 22 September, 2019
Curated with Dehlia Hannah
At 52°33’44.1”N 14°03’12.8”E, a precise Global Positioning System coordinate provided by Google Maps, the blindfold is removed. As you warily tread the muddy ground, your eyes adjust to bright white fluorescent light. A trickle of water catches your ear. You arrive, surrounded on all sides by windowless white walls, in a truncated thatch of forest. The smell of damp earth slows your pace as you navigate the terrain of fallen logs and low growing shrubs. Venturing beyond the first enclosure, a well-trampled corridor opens onto another white-walled room. The sound leads you along a stream fringed by greenery towards a small waterfall, whose pool offers a rippling reflection of the harsh ceiling lights. Every leaf is thrown into sharp relief against the saturated hues of the forest floor.
ISOLATION by Fabian Knecht is a artwork staged within a white-box gallery space built up around specially selected sites. At first glance, the images appear to photos of galleries filled up with landscape installations. One thinks of Walter de Maria’s Earth Room (1977-present), or Olafur Eliasson’s Riverbed (2014-15), to which Knecht has previously referred in a visual essay about the origins of the series. But in fact, the large format photographs makes of actual ground a figure, like a sculpture in a room, inviting viewers to attend to it with heightened care. At each of the selected sites, a fluorescent lit white box is dropped atop a rectangular swatch of land—a fragment which, decontextualized from its surroundings, evokes its own set of associations, analogies, desires and anxieties.