Clara Bahlsen – Pferde & Autos
Self published 2012
With her photographs, Clara Bahlsen (b. 1978) takes a cautious and precise look at life in the country. Horses and cars are means of locomotion that travel at very different speeds. And while some are riding through the village on horseback, others may already be on their way to the big city at the next motorway exit.
How does it feel when you return to the country? And what if you stay? Clara Bahlsen’s camera unobtrusively focuses on people and landscapes, getting very close to them without exposing them. Her pictures neither pretend to be unobserved naturalness, nor is the photographic technique used for decorative staging. The camera remains a tangible observer and poetic recording instrument at the same time. With a look into the camera and a posture that oscillates between insecurity and impartiality, the photographed appear exposed to a gentle questioning.
The landscape shots do not stage wild originality, but show cultivated land throughout – fields, houses, paths. Here the presence of the photographic apparatus becomes clear through an emphasis on linearity that is as casual as it is aesthetic. Clara Bahlsen’s country life is immersed in a mild light that never seems glaring or glorifying, but instead bathes its subject in delicate shades of grey, brown and green.