Ricarda Roggan

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Ricarda Roggan (born 1972 in Dresden) studied photography at Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Leipzig and the prestigious Royal College of Art, London. Her works deal with found places and spaces in which men have left their traces. While in her early series “Stuhl, Tisch und Bett” (2001) she re-installed the interiors of left-behind classrooms and offices in the neutral setting of her studio, dark empty attics that she discovered on expeditions around her hometown Dresden became the subject matter in “ATTIKA” (2005). After the searching and finding – always the starting point of her works – comes the thorough preparation of the rooms for the analogue picture. In painstaking dedication she covers up cracks in the wooden walls, that could let disruptive light beams in, eliminates grains of dust, even bricks up entire walls to create the perfect image, as in the series “Schacht”. The ready-made which the viewer supposes to see in the pictures turns to be a strictly thought through composition at closer observation.

By eliminating the background, be it through time exposure, which puts the image in complete darkness, or through the selection of an image detail that cuts off all possible exits, the isolated places are pictured entirely closed and not accessible for the spectator. Places as well as objects are taken out of their original function and thereby placed in the spotlight by the artist. Still, it is exactly the evidence of human use, which she wants to capture and focus on. In her recent body of works, gambling machines that she stumbled upon during a work stay in Cyprus have become the motive. In their awkward timeless appearance, the strange appliances resemble stranded spaceships from a different age or props from a science-fiction movie. But with their capsule-like construction they, too, are left over places that once served a purpose and human beings for their play and thereby integrate into Ricarda Roggan’s previous oeuvre.

Since 2007 Ricarda Roggan has begun to work outdoors to turn towards the genre of landscape painting in her own typical way. In the series “SEDIMENTE” she found rock formations, remains of man-made quarries that face the viewer as nearly abstract, hard spaces that don’t leave a way out. In “Baumstücke”, the artist herself is the person that leaves her traces in the nature and prepares the image with her usual perfectionism and sophistication for the exposure with the large format camera, until all unnecessary branches of trees and disturbing leaves are disposed of. Here, too, the observation and examination of approaches as different as documentation and construction, reality and model, function and uselessness is the basis of her artistic work.

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