In the baking Berlin summer, German-American photographer Jessica Backhaus (b. 1970) arranged a number of transparent paper cut outs. In the direct sunlight and concurrent heat, the shapes began to rise from the surface, bending and curling into one another whilst casting block shadows on the page. She captured their dance- like forms as pink, blue, green and yellow sections began to intersect as abstracted Venn diagrams. Beyond the visual appeal of tessellating colour samples, Backhaus invented a “photography of chance” as each paper sample began to bend according to its own will, wilting as the moisture evaporated and the cuts shrank in size. After the initial layering of samples, she became an observer of events – documenting an aesthetic experiment – with little control over the final composition. Cut Outs will be on display at Robert Morat Galerie, Berlin, in January 2022.
Image Credits: Jessica Backhaus, Cut Outs (2020). Fine Art Pigment Print. Copyright Jessica Backhaus, Courtesy Robert Morat Gallery.