Darkness of Doubling Shadows

Lothar Baumgarten German

Not on view

The son of an anthropologist, Baumgarten began his career as a student of the shamanistic sculptor Joseph Beuys at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He made this cryptic image in the entryway to his studio as the opening image for a slide show humorously entitled "A Voyage, or 'With the MS Remschied on the Amazon,' or The Account of A Voyage Under the Stars of the Refrigerator." Juxtaposing his setup photographs with textual fragments from nineteenth and early twentieth century ethnographic accounts of South America, Baumgarten tweaked the conventions of linguistic and photographic representation that permit the viewer to imagine other societies, places, and times. In another ex-ample, the treads of a cast-off bit of rubber tire snaking through the underbrush of a lower Rhineland forest become transformed when captioned "Anticipated Armadillos." Darkness of Doubling Shadows can also stand alone, however, as a powerful poetic depiction of the magical space of the imagination - floating between known and unknown, reality and fantasy, beckoning but potentially treacherous.

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