Leon Kirchlechner – Nowhere


copyright Leon Kirchlechner 2013 published jointly by Der Grief & dienacht Publishing

Nowhere is an intriguing collection of tightly framed landscape photographs. The location(s) of these landscapes is ambiguous and undefined, thus they are of an unknown place, essentially nowhere. In a number of photographs, Kirchlechner captures a translucent object that is suspended within the frame, which appears to be a whiff of smoke or a light mist. A few of the landscapes include elements that are similar in appearance to this mysterious vapor. The source of the vapor is not defined, but interrelated to the landscape photographs of burnt vegetation, charred ruins and other burnt objects.

I am particularly drawn to Kirchlechner’s photographs containing the faint hints of smoke that are interspersed and woven with the photographs of dark and foreboding interiors or the landscapes of scattered debris. It suggests aspects of memory, being difficult to comprehend, leaving only a faint, fleeting impression while of little substance. These ambiguous images are unsettlingly; seemingly fragile with ominous and dark undertones.

Kirchlechner provides subtle tantalizing clues within the frame, but yet keeps the images ambiguous, which causes me to feel the need to look deeper and scrutinize the few details offered.

The book is an Enigma.

The case bound photobook is designed, printed and bound in a classical style, with a tipped-in image on the cloth cover. As an interesting twist, there are two title pages, with the top leaf torn in half through the text, hinting at violence as well as something that might not be complete. The book does not include any additional clues for the reader, as it is without a text, pagination or captions for the plates.

I had selected this book by Leon Kirchlechner as one of my more interesting photobooks for 2013, and you can see my entire selection here.

Douglas Stockdale for The PhotoBook







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