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COVID19 Reflections

Courtesy of Florence Iff

Florence Iff

She was introduced to photography at the age of 12 by her grandfather, a horologer and photographer himself. She then started to take pictures with one of his vintage cameras and installed a flexible black&white laboratory in the family bathroom. With time she developed an experimental way of working with the medium she further experimented with during her art education. Although she was educated as an artist in different disciplines photography remained her favorite medium.


Having been admitted to ICPs fulltime program in general studies in New York City in 1997 she started the first time to shoot in color, the city and the school influencing her perception radically. Being confronted with American artificiality for the first time she then started her series on artificial landscapes and the disappearance of natural habitat.Having been sensitized in the 1970ies already to the topic of the threat of nature by carbon emission she incorporated the subject very early in her work and it has been one of her main concerns since.


It takes her usually several years to explore a subject within its wide range in order to accomplish work series/groups. She now mainly works on the subject of the Anthropocene and subsequent issues of the Technosphere as a longterm project.


Her way of working with the medium is not merely a classical one, but she's interested in what lies behind the surface of a plane picture, what photography as a medium inhabits, what is possible and where the limits are. 


The consequences of Corona are only the prelude to the coming climate catastrophe. Not only Science sees a connection between epidemics and global warming. Climate change will have a decisive influence on us and the generations to come.

In the last couple of decades human beings are modifying and destroying nature by burning fossil material which synthesized during millions of years and subsequently leading to the actual climate change. Absolutely nothing that accompanies, surrounds or is consumed in our everyday life is not connected with oil in any way. Neither are political decisions, economical interests, demographic changes and globalized inequality.

The OIL project was created during the Corona crisis and bears witness to this in various ways: From the very first moment of the Corona lockdown, it was clear to me that I wanted to use the time of the quarantine for intensive research on the topic of oil, that my working method is an image search on the Internet, and that the flood of images is an analogy to mass production, abundance and disproportion. In addition, I have combed through my own picture archive and used selected material.

The work is divided into different themes, such as the creation and exploitation of crude oil, wars dependent on it, all means of transport, the petrochemical-rich food chain, other derivatives and their consequences, contamination of entire landscapes and groundwater, right down to plastic and its decomposition into microplastics, which in turn are crushed again by bacteria, but will never completely disappear.

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