Photographic images are a part of our everyday lives more than ever. Even today, they communicate a plausibility about what they depict, events and scenarios – although we ought to know better from history and from the new possibilities for technically processing photographs. With their artworks, the three artists Caroline Dlugos, Margareta Hesse, Rosário Rebello de Andrade make us aware of the discrepancy between photographic image, reproduction and apparent reality.

In their exhibition PARALLELeWELTEN at the Kunstverein KunstHaus Potsdam, they present artistic photographs, photo-based images, drawings and videos. Subject-wise their works revolve around investigations into nature, comparisons between urban building façades and the capturing of everyday situations and moments. However, rather than using photography in its reproductive role, the three artists use it as part of cross-media image constructions that reference and cite reality. These constructions highlight interfaces to parallel realities so that multi-layeredness, relationships and references, lines of vision and perspectives come together both in the individual works and in the way the works interrelate in the exhibition area.

Film and photographic works by Rosário Rebello de Andrade appear as subtle comments and associative connections that guide and accompany the exhibition. The absurd and poetic situations or moments they capture are often the result of random momentary images taken with a camera. By contrast, the artist‘s large-sized drawings come about during a painstaking and protracted work process. In part they zoom in on elements of media images, lending them a new effect. Video stills combined with sequences of small photographs and large-sized drawings generate thematic parallels, which not only trigger associations in observers again and again but load the media and the artworks themselves with new associations.

Caroline Dlugos has always mistrusted the photographic process, which can only ever map one limited section of the visible reality from an individual perspective. Very early on, she made counter-strategies that subvert this principle and extend the photographic medium the subject of her artistic endeavours – as she did nature, which she transforms using her photographic investigations into visionary images. For this she uses both analogue and digital assembly techniques including abstract structures, purely computer-generated image elements and video space installations. She pits these parallel image worlds against one another, developing them further and recombining them.

Parallel image worlds are also the subject of works by Margareta Hesse. Her images are extracts from prestigious magnificent façades from Berlin of the late 19th-century and of colonial architecture in Havana, which she contrasts with images of disconsolate looking tower blocks. The photographs, which have been defamiliarised by inversion into black-and-white negatives and then digitally enhanced, are melted together due to different design interventions like the addition to photographs of superimposed cocoon-shaped silicon models to create abstract structures and adherence to the spatial object. Under the lucid deep-red coloured surfaces on polyester, the photographic images develop a virtually immersive effect.

The artists

The artist Caroline Dlugos originally heralds from Berlin and studied fine art and photography at the University of Kassel. Thereafter she completed her postgraduate studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris as well as a degree in Art History at the Free University of Berlin. Following a career as fashion photography assistant and studio assistant in Paris, Caroline Dlugos now works as a freelance art photographer in Berlin and teaches at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund as Professor of Photography.

Margareta Hesse creates cross-media works during which she looks intensively at the effect of light and colour and how these converge. After studying Art and Romance Languages, there followed a stay in Paris at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. In 2012 she lectured at the School of Visual Arts in New York and the Royal College of Art in London on laser installations and on her work Lichtschneise I – V. Today Margareta Hesse lives and works in Berlin and Dortmund. She is also a professor at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund, where she teaches in the areas of communication design and scenography.

Rosário Rebello de Andrade is a Portuguese artist who, for some years now, has divided her time between Portugal and Germany. She spent her study years at the Lisbon School of Fine Arts, Ar.Co, and at renowned institutions in England and the USA, such as the Art Institute of Chicago. Back in Europe, her works concentrated on places and landscapes as channels for philosophical questions.