Mathias Kessler – Galerie Heike Strelow, Frankfurt
Born 1968 in Kempten, Germany
For nearly ten years Mathias Kessler has been exploring the concept and history of "nature" within the Western Eurocentric context of capitalism, humanism, and representation. In his works, he not only exposes the many interventions of human culture that have threatened, remade, and shaped what nature is, but plays with our longing for an apparently untouched environment. In his photographs, computer-generated landscapes and installations Kessler works within the historical interface between the private living room and the adjoining public room of the natural order; between memory and its image; authenticity and alienation. With nuance and subtlety, he exposes the way human intervention reconstructs the natural to the point that it is just another "fiction of the 18th and 19th century" as Robert Smithson put it. In particular, he investigates the complex movement of man and nature across two important notions: natura naturans (self-creating nature) and natura naturata (created nature).