Aglaia Konrad

Boeing Over

In the course of her many travels, the continuous migrations during which she weaves her work, Aglaia Konrad photographs the earth’s surface through the windows of Boeing aircrafts. Her studio is reduced to a minimum, her technical means are most economic, whereas the object pictured is immense. The photography reveals only what shows through the window; this is the only rule she uses in this series, which began in 1998.

Aerial photography may very well be able to record anthropic and natural entities in permanent evolution on the earth’s surface. It may show entities such as mountains, canyons, deserts, and low plains, rivers ranging from spring to estuary. It can reveal the earth’s resources, such as lakes and forests. It can enable us to visualize population densities, the extent of cities.

But these Boeing Over images mostly elude all our attempts at objectivizing what we see. They are merely the products of space rushing away under the wings of the airplane at the exact moment the photograph is taken. This means that the reality, not to say the truth, of Konrad’s exposures shows the moment when the indistinct claims its presence, when reality turns into abstraction. These photographs have a fascinating kind of… terrestrial attraction for our eyes, first of all because they are impossible to situate, their topographic origin is often lost. They convey the irrepressible attraction to all that we see, for us to recognize and understand; here the earth’s surface seen from a distance of 10,000 meters. But the distance between what we recognize and what we know may be much larger than that.

Boeing Over, 2003–2007

Baryth print framed, 50 x 75 cm
Courtesy Aglaia Conrad and Galerie Nadia Vilenne, Liège
Text by Jean-Michel Botquin (translation by Christophe Kotanyi)

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