In her series of photos published to date, artist Claudia Rogge deals predominantly with the relationship between the mass and the individual. The pictures that she has produced appear to be infinite scenarios in a far-away familiar somewhere.
In her new work “EverAfter”, this perceived infinity becomes the theme; inspired by Dante’s “Divine Comedy” (1307 (ff.)), large formats have developed into the defined classic afterlives of Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso. They rest on an internal logic devoted to this theme. She pursues the theme of the masses to the last breath of man. Heaven – Hell – Purgatory are pictures of the “Last – Masses” in this sense: the enlightened and glorified, those exposed to the sublimation, the lost and the damned. With this 16-part series, Claudia Rogge has created an extensive, but complex task.
At first glance, these photographs seem to empathise with the relevant classics of Baroque painting – with the modern technology, she transforms photography into old-style imagery. However, with a more detailed look, you can see unsettling details – including elements of sodomy and perversion. Claudia Rogge's new work poses contemporary questions in terms of the content and form; in terms of form, the questions of the purpose and power of elegiac images without the religious benefits of that time and in terms of content, the question of our beliefs in an increasingly secular Western society. A society, which, on the other hand, is confronted with religiously motivated terror.
What relevance do the concepts of the Last Days have in our present, if, irrespective of God, they are more associated with a destruction caused by uncontrollable technology or a nature that is fighting back? What is our connection to belief, destiny, morality, love, lust, violence and perversion?
With her new series, Claudia Rogge scrutinises dualism between a long-standing good and an evil, as well as the relevance of our actions in this world and for a possible afterlife.
Like a puppet master, the artist adopts the role of the actual demiurge here, allows the -World- to develop, enriches this with elements, which clearly have their reference to the Here and Now as the true locations of a supposable hell or an imaginable paradise.
The exhibition will open on Friday 9th September 2011 at 18:00. This evening the artist will accompany the visitors into the exhibition with an outdoor installation. The external view into the exhibition will initially be forbidden to the visitor. Only after traversing a high step the visitor will be able to see and access the exhibition. An acoustic trilogy to the three afterlives of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory will sound alternately. Flames, bells and earthly sounds will reinforce the associations with the afterlives.