The exhibition presents recent works by Rafael Yossef Herman known for creating his work with the hidden existence of the night’s darkness. By observing this large scale photographic installation, the Israel-born artist’s representation of the nocturnal world may look like daylight to the viewer.
The works chosen for this exhibition at the Ludwig Museum mainly show pathways or clearings in forests and open fields with flowers. As we walk through the differently lit rooms there is a confrontation between the forest images placed in an intensely dark environment with those capturing flower fields and large spring-like open spaces of nature placed in an overlit room. Forests are usually perceived as dark and shady even on a sunny day while open fields considered light and sunny at all times.
By creating this supporting environment the viewer is confronted with his own limitations of perception. The visitor enters this ‘other reality’ by doing nothing but being present. In this it can be seen that Herman’s nocturnal images are not simply eliminating the ‘horror’ of the night by creating a daylight-like atmosphere but are constructing an alternative reality that has never been seen by the human eye.
Herman examines the limits of surreality and timeless reality in these works that encapsulate imperceivable, or imaginary realities. In a sense, he is researching virtuality. Virtual realities, games, and simulations that are so influential to the present allow us to seek into areas unknown to the human eye. The night landscapes shot by Herman do not exist for our eyes. These strange lights of the night normally can only be perceived by technology.
Compared to the experience of the real daylight, we perceive odd shadows, the features of moonlight, colour spectrum and shimmering details that differ from sunlight. Herman creates a new reality out of the mystery of the night. He highlights the fact that although the night landscape is close to us, its details cannot be observed. These landscapes do not exist for the human eye, they are insights into another reality.