place du marché, Clervaux
At first glance, there is nothing terrifying about the images of Jürgen Nefzger. His representation of landscapes does not offend the viewer, who recognises the surrounding environment in all its details: a scene of everyday life.
But does this approach not exclude inquisitive minds seeking the unknown and the unusual, fearing neither disappointment nor effort in a quest to analyse the world in its intimate structures with a critical and suspicious eye?
Contemporary landscapes are shaped on account of human needs and pursuant to the laws of industrial and recreational economics. Man is ingenious. His inventions give him comfort and reassure him. This provides him with enough motivation to create his own landscape. Ingenuity defines centuries, classifies time and leaves its mark on history. Modern buildings reveal themselves to be monumental and complex. Seen from a distance, they merge into the background and appear to disappear into the horizon.
A rather pleasant vision - if it were not for a tiny aberration, which nevertheless does not go unnoticed by the eye: the clouds are climbing vertically into the sky. What a strange phenomenon. "Fluffy clouds", of a pure and hard white, rise through an empty sky. All of a sudden the vision of the spectator resets itself: with the structures clearly materialising from the background as nuclear power stations. Their smoke hangs over the landscape, threatening to contaminate it secretly, silently.
Jürgen Nefzger shows how an image can freeze the invisible dimension pervading reality and render it perceptible to the observer. The aesthetics of familiarity represent nothing but a fictive idyll. These clouds, despite their name and their cosy appearance, mark the vast and infinite sky by leaving trails that are effulgent, menacing even.
Jürgen Nefzger (*1968, Fürth, Germany) lives and works in Paris and Nice.
text: A. Meyer
English translation by Claire Weyland