Lydia Hannah Debeer
From Edges and Shadows, They Travel to Light
photo's 3, 5, 7, 8 & 9 © Paul Kumeit, all others © Lydia Hannah
Inkjet print on textile; series of 8 flags; 314×200 cm
From Edges and Shadows, They Travel to Light 2021
In situ installation for trio show Portrait of an Emotion Narva Art Residency, alongside artists Diana Tamane and Jevgeni Zolotko and curated by Laura Toots.
Lydia Hannah’s new work From Edges and Shadows, They Travel to Light simultaneously approaches and distances itself from its central motif, a dark rocky river bed in the twilight. This series, consisting of large-format flags, is the first photographic work by the artist, who mostly works with sound and video. The flags glow with longing for the wild waters in the now-empty river bed. To counteract the forceful reshaping, commercialization, and politicization of nature, the artist has created these images on flowing semitransparent textiles. Hannah has chosen a single image for her work and by enlarging it, she comes increasingly closer to its essence. She emphasizes the texture of both the image and the material, and the depicted motif seems to change – the solid stone surface transforms into something fluid and then into a cloud-like floating mass. Just like clouds are driven by air currents, the flags are set in motion by passing visitors. In the exhibition space, the giant flags are placed one after another, the enlargement effect highlighting the spaces between them. The visitor can jump from stone to stone, from one image to the next.
The repetition of images Hannah has created and their dark surface leaves the impression that they were created using tracing paper. Each time the artist replicates the motif, we come to a tiny step closer to the substance of the image. At the same time, with each use, the tracing paper fades and the outline of the image becomes increasingly blurry, transforming the stone into mist, step by step.
text by Laura Toots