Ulrich Gebert

1976 born in Munich
lives and works in Leipzig
1998-2003 studies at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst (Academy of Visual Arts) Leipzig, class of Prof. Timm Rautert 

2001-2002 studies at the Glasgow School of Art 

2005 master student of Timm Rautert, Leipzig 

2006 Master degree at the Royal College of Art, London

“Looking for the thread running through Gebert’s works (…) in terms of both form and content one finds the relationship of Man to his environment, specifically to Nature – both civilised and “untouched”. Again and again, the pictures feature artificially altered, categorised, instrumentalised and functionalised landscapes whose relationship to humankind is examined. Formally speaking, the quality of the photographs in themselves and in their interplay with each other consists of relating Man and Nature to one another. The beauty of an orange is as enticing as the unreal setting of a combat exercise is disturbing; the formal impact of a pruned hedge or the geometric shape of a tree is equal to that of the worker trimming the hedge. In terms of content, they ask: How does an individual, a group, a society or an entire (western) culture inscribe itself into its habitat? How does it deal with that habitat? (…)

Amerika (2007) plays most clearly with this contrast. On the one side, orange trees, as they have grown for millennia, heavy with ripe fruit, all the force and beauty of Nature. On the other, the losers of civilisation: illegal immigrants, living in conditions below civilised standards and gathering in the fruits of Nature for those in power. From metaphorical cutting back, then, to the union of consumerism and oppression, this development illustrates the fact that for Gebert, Nature is increasingly becoming a place where the ways people treat each other, the mechanisms of their power and control over one another, are played out.”

from: Searching for clues – on the relationship between Man and Nature in the works of Ulrich Gebert, Ellen Blumenstein, 2007.

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