Exploring the notion of decay, both natural and artificial, the work of Johann Besse uses photography as a tool to generate elaborate abstractions. Working mostly with still-lives, his work documents the specific physical conditions in which each image was produced. Weeks of observation and designed neglect sometimes precede hours of meticulous arrangement and subtle alteration before the photographic device intervenes. Such process implies an untold performativity which is often indicated by Besse’s distinctive motifs, including viscosity and blur. In the artist’s taxonomy, both reveal the sublime, as a state that carries mystical connotations. Scale plays an important role in shifting the viewer’s perception too, and further contributes to shift the abject into the beautiful. Such processes of abstraction allow harmonious patterns to appear, and to celebrate the mutability of all things.
As of October 2020