Photography’s subject from the beginning has been looking at or away from man.
In these times, as resources both manufactured and natural seem to be scarce,
the question of how we balance them, which way we look, where we focus, is of
high importance. The recording of our mark and stain on the earth has been a
common theme, but it is most truthful when placed in the context of an ever
King Monkey and the Infinite Sunshine is part journey, part play, part
surrender, but most of all a search for balance. A balance between the ways
humans interact with the environments they are in, fecund, arid, light, watery.
These images are landscapes, both external and internal that we are invited to
Preceded steps pave a path, and it is our choice to follow or blaze anew, to
climb to the top of a mountain and plant our flag, or quietly fit within the
environment that surrounds us. Upon entering any landscape we have to decide
how to interact with it. Why choose one way over another?
It was the Beat Generation’s work and style that brought Austrian artist
Jonas Jungblut to California ten years ago to study photography. Jungblut was
raised in West Berlin, Germany, where he saw first hand the shifting political
environment and witnessed the end of the Cold War. With family in Austria and
Germany, Jungblut split his time as a youth between the Austrian Alps and a
divided then reunited Berlin. Since leaving Europe, he has traveled extensively,
photographing, sculpting, searching for balance.
The esteemed photographer Robert Adams said of landscape images that included
the people that inhabited them, “the people stand there virtually in the way;
yet, at the same time, they establish the vast dimensions of the pictures and
thus reassure us that they and we are not all-important.”
This is a journey that struggles to reconcile being both King Monkey and
leaving a mark on this environment, and embracing the hope from the Infinite
Sunshine in the surrounding landscape.
Jesse Groves | Brooks Institute