Sarah Van Marcke "It never changes to stop”

Sarah Van Marcke controls her photographic work with a highly demanding and refined care. She rarely focuses on a chaotic nature, but rather on situations and objects that are firmly determined by a human filter. How buildings and objects appear to us is culturally determined. They are subject to functional requirements, industrial parameters and fashions. They are linked to time and to their surrounding area. Sarah Van Marcke approaches those phenomena in a detached and uncanny way, so they suddenly start spinning in a framed and
strange stillness. Western European shopping streets are amazingly exchangeable: pedestrian zones or unidirectional axes, the ground floor of existing homes accommodate chain stores and employment offices. In smaller provincial towns competition from larger retailers along highways and malls is manifest: smaller, autonomous and typical shops disappear, leaving empty front shop windows here and there. They are places where time comes to a standstill.
These places are disruptive to the entrepreneur’s soul, however a poetic oasis for those who’re open to musing. Empty windows, old posters and calendars, fading colours, dust and real estate agencies placards define a frozen and sleepy atmosphere that strongly contrasts with the bustle of everyday life. That mental stagnation was intriguing to Sarah Van Marcke. The remains of the commodity or a few wellchosen attributes appear in her photographic work as frozen fetishes, acting simultaneously as lightly and oppressive. A shoe, a coat hanger, a suit: isolated and freed from the context of temporary sales or a seasonal fair they come to us as a strange melancholic sculpturen.
(text by Frederik Van Laere, Cuesta) The First Day of Good Weather

Vittorio Mortarotti "The First Day of Good Weather"

In the morning of the 6th of August 1945, one hour before the Enola Gay – the airplane which carried the atomic bomb – the officer Claude Eatherly flew over Hiroshima, because he had to check the weather conditions. In other cities, thousands of people got saved because it was raining that day.
The night between the 8th and 9th of July 1999 my father and my brother died in a car accident.
On the 11th of March 2011 a terrible earthquake and a consequent tsunami shook the districts of Miyagi and Iwate, in Japan, and caused the death of nearly 25000 people and the destruction of 475000 houses.
The starting point of this project is a pack of letters that I found at the end of 2012. These letters, which date 1999, are the correspondence between my teen-aged brother and his Japanese girlfriend, Kaori. Kaori continued writing and sending photos and postcards for months after the accident.
The searching for Kaori has led me to Fukushima and the Tsunami area, working as pretext to look for stories of loss and reconstruction across Japan.
“The first day of good weather” was the order issued by the President of the United States Truman to drop the bomb on Japan.

Opening hours: Wednesday 16 November: 12 - 9 pm
Opening Thu. 17 - Sat. 19 Nov.: 11 am - 7 pm
Sunday 20 November: 11 am - 6 pm and by appointment

COFA Contemporary
Köln Messe
AIC Spaces B-033, Halle 11.2.