What is an important image in the age of digital consciousness? How do we filter them out? And ultimately, how do we derive meaning from the stages, frames and displays through which the contemporary image appears?
This exhibition is about things seen and unseen and the presence of absence. Lena Rosa Händle shines a light on the historically erased and forgotten images of abjected queerness. Digging through her photographic archives, Händle unearths past images that she has never shown before, juxtaposing them with her ongoing series “I (We) Feel Seen” 2018, “Places of Passing” 2013 and “Laughing Inverts” 2016 - and through this process weaving a cacophony of the diverse complexity of queerness and the politics of colour. Surveying the past years of Händle’s work, this conscious retrospective traces several significant strands of the artists' practice. Händle inventively explores the ways in which colonialism and patriarchy continue to shape how Western societies refuse to hear, see and feel the plight of queer-feminist, trans and gender non-binary persons in her works. Over the last ten years, Händle has developed a dynamic and thought-provoking inquiry into the notion of capturing queer solidarities. At its heart, lies a passionate critique of modern Western systems of control and organisation and the growing power of right-wing populism around the globe. Händle’s photographic eye is unmistakable: the archive of her highly disarming, beautifully shot images are a haystack of revelations – each shot a little different but disciplined in their similarity. The photographs summons intense and consistent moods that evoke as if the images appear to be hypnotised by spirit; it is energetic and intriguing to the point where it’s like seeing the forest in its entirety and also seeing the trees all at once.
This exhibition addresses some of the crucial concerns of our time; normalised micro-aggressions, intersectionality, trans-rights, queer activism and love. It looks to engage the audience through our shared capacities for thinking and feeling. Through her sensitive approach, Händle invites us to approach her subject matter with a thoughtful examination and critical insight.
This complex and layered selection of her archive is testament to the ingenuity of her photographic eye and honest treatment of her subject, bringing to the fore how filtering important images is only possible through a dialogue of representation, subtlety, and abstraction; emancipating the frozen image of patriarchal social construction and revealing the ability of art to capture the monsters that dwell in the contemporary. Every important image must be made real – not merely exposed and shed light, to close the border, but as a reality of crossing, of recognising and witnessing the Dust In Strange Light.