Elodie Hiryczuk and Sjoerd van Oevelen have worked together since 2001. They explore man’s complex relationship with nature through the discipline of photography. One of their well-known projects is Landfall, a series of photographic panoramas of Surtsey - the world’s newest island, formed in 1963 – which was presented on a number of huge billboards in the Amsterdam Zuidas area. In 2007, the gallery presented Hiryczuk/ Van Oevelen’s Sceneries, a sequence of photographic works showing protagonists performing an action in a very specific place, while inhabiting a very different mental space. In this series, the artists manipulated optical perspective to create a spatial illusion.
Under the title Field Experiments, the artist did present new photo works and objects investigating the depiction of natural phenomenon and the experience of landscape. The artists confront viewers with typical scenes from nature, then transform their experience of these images into an intensive and alienating process. Viewers’ expectations are challenged by objects and images that deploy a range of representation methods from perspectival drawing systems to scale models and optical illusions that trigger startling spatial situations.
In the quadtych Shadow-Light-Reflection a cedar tree is reconstructed, pieced together from a multiplicity of viewpoints. The same tree, its colour bleaching in the bright sunlight, was photographed repeatedly, each time from an almost imperceptibly different angle. The representation of the landscape from ever-shifting perspectives reveals a spatiality that is haptic rather than simply optical, similar to the way in which we construct something using the simultaneous input of our eyes and our ‘visual’ imagination, in which the viewer’s perspective no longer matches that of the camera.