The Farmani Gallery is proud to exhibit the latest work of photographer Jan von Holleben, in his collaborative series with artist Sergei Sviatchenko. Holleben’s project, Mutatis mutandis, will open on September 10, 2009 to a reception from 6:00-8:30 pm. Mutatis mutandis represents work from von Holleben’s latest limited-edition book project by the same name, with collaged pieces embodying the creative whimsy characteristic of the artist.
Von Holleben is a critically acclaimed photographer based in Berlin, where he does the bulk of his shooting and subsequently garners inspiration. Before Mutatis mutandis, von Holleben’s earlier series was the multiple award-winning Dreams of Flying, a body of work focusing on the childlike-fancy, which Mutatis mutandis also evokes. Mutatis mutandis presents images of human/animal hybrids, super-imposed on deserted urban and natural landscapes, self-consciously occupying copious amounts of these spaces. The morphed figures are poised, frozen in action, seemingly aware of the voyeuristic gaze of the viewer.
Inventor and cultural scientist Marc Piesbergen has written on Mutatis mutandis, cautioning that the idea of humans collaged with animals “may instill fear, for it seems that nature’s order has been disturbed”. However, Piesbergen goes on to imply that there is a certain importance attributed to this sort of transformation, later writing that “the metamorphosis of the butterfly is evidence of how a magical creature grows from a monstrous being…von Holleben’s images prove that play and fantasy can create a better reality.”