Jochen Lambert and his poetic view of nature at the Pompidou Center

Foam towers, a close-up on a horse’s belly, the path of fireflies on delicate paper, the poetic and sometimes mysterious images by German photographer Jochen Limbert, who takes a unique look at nature, will be discovered in the Pompidou Photo Gallery.

Born in 1958, Jochen Limbert studied biology and worked on dragonflies before embarking on photography. The Pompidou Center Photography Gallery exhibit reveals 30 years of work in a presentation envisioned as an installation. Pictures on the wall, fragile papers hung mostly frameless, or placed horizontally in display cases, respond to each other.

“There is really the work of building, composition, constellation, creating a visual narrative”notes Julie Jones, curator at the Pompidou Center and co-curator of the exhibition.

Jochen Limbert,

So this story, without hierarchy or chronology, blends early works with very modern ones. “It was easy for me to incorporate these first works because they are of the same interest”says the artist. The first part is about shape. Stacked plant sponges respond to aloe vera, attaching to an urban cell or the ephemeral silhouette of a sea feather. “For me, all of these forms worked so well together. I was surprised myself and happy to see how it went,” Comments by Jochen Limbert.

It works in black and white, because “It’s an abstraction language that makes it easy to connect things”, He said. He takes his pictures with a film camera, generally with a 50mm lens, which is the closest to human vision. No macro photography then, but take a closer look at what you can see if you notice the gigantic power of an ant holding a leaf. His photographic practice is a daily exercise, and the old Nikon never leaves him. And Jochen Lembert makes his own darkroom prints, which present all shades of gray.

“The strength of this work is to combine a kind of fragility, something very traditional in its style and a very contemporary composition, which makes us see things differently and destroys all the separation between scientific and artistic vision”Comments by Julie Jones.

Jochen Limbert,

Pictures always look simple and intricately arranged. Sometimes, in front of a store window, you don’t know which way to look at them.

The second room tells us about light and looks more specifically at how the natural world emits or receives it. The combination of water and sky, and a window evoking the moon, and a star attached to which the weeds are projected, seemingly (sometimes very obscure), an insect emerging on a spherical bulb, or a round flower.

Black dots form abstract lines on white paper. In contrast, there are solid lines that stand out in the film. The artist experimented with the effect of fireflies on a sensitive surface: in the first case, intermittent light is emitted, in the second, the flashing is continuous. It uses the same photographic process (without the use of a camera, objects are placed directly between the light and the sensitive material) with tadpoles drawing their shape and jumping on the paper.

Elsewhere, while he was lying down, with the camera resting on his chest, he caught starlight moving to the rhythm of his breathing, forming misty dots in the dark sky.

Regen Steinbock, photo by Jochen Limbert, 2014 (© Adagp, Paris, 2022)

Other works speak to us about cognition, to reveal “almost (in) visible”, Offered to our eyes thanks to the photographer’s look. Young man sitting on a bench immersed in thought on his phone. White spots fly over it. These are light flies.

Jochen Lempert explores all the beauty of the vegetable world with the transparency of gooseberry or dandelion lily, in the animal world, with the ladybird whose spots raise a human face. It suggests the convergence of clouds, corals and lichen forms.

“It is a look that expands our perception, with the idea of ​​inviting visitors to question the minimal details of the physical and visible world, which Yoshin makes visible to us through his work.”, summarizes Florian Ebner, Cabinet Director of Photography and co-curator of the exhibition. Anyway, a very nice walk.

Jochen Limbert
Center Pompidou (Photography Gallery, Basement)
Fourth Paris
Every day except Tuesday and May 1, from 11 am to 9 pm, Thursday until 11 pm
Free entry to the photo gallery
From 11 May to 4 September 2022

Leave a Comment