Once, Still and Forever.
Photographs by Jessica Backhaus.
Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg, 2013. 88 pp., 55 color illustrations, 9½x11½".
'Once, Still and Forever' sets out a quest for traces of time and meaning – things that once were, still are and will stay forever. Some of the works in this latest photography series by Jessica Backhaus date from her last year in New York, where she made her home for 14 years. But others tell of her radical break with the past and her return to her old homeland, Europe. The personal and cultural changes honed her awareness and caused her to contemplate the fragility of our emotions and existence –
thoughts the photographer translates into her own characteristic visual language. Darker nuances come to the fore in the still lifes; picture planes splinter, hinting at powerful transformations. At 16, Backhaus left Germany, only returning to Berlin 22 years later. What was once, still is and will forever remain is the artist’s infallible instinct for pictorial composition, a deftness she continues to take to new heights. Her views of ostensibly prosaic scenes open up to us a cosmos of unforeseen meanings while evoking a mood of affectionate familiarity.
Read Shane Lavalette's review of Once, Still & Forever on photo-eye Blog.