Elger Esser always sees the history of photography in both a literary and an art-historical light. The picture postcard was the first mass-produced photograph and may be considered as one of the very first examples of “democratic” photography. The picture postcards from those early days of tourism both captured and reflected memories, moods and feelings of universal validity. A picture postcard, chosen and posted, established a rapport, an identifying moment, between the sender and the addressee.
Esser’s photographs do not document, but rather translate the traditional notion of landscape into contemporary imagery using modern photographic and enlarging techniques. While the atmospheric landscapes chosen by Esser rarely depict people, at the most a solitary stroller, they quite literally fill the picture space with sea and sky, affording the viewer all the space he needs for the projection of his own feelings and thoughts.
Born in Stuttgart in 1967 and brought up in Rome, Elger Esser belongs to the youngest generation of Becher students at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. Whilst this is clearly evidenced by the documentary character of many of his series of photographs, Esser’s lyrical, atmospheric style differs strongly from the severe, matter-of-fact style of his teachers Bernd and Hilla Becher.Download the artist biography