artist / participant

press release

SCALO|GUYE presents a solo exhibition by the Swiss photographer. West Hollywood, April 16, 2006 – Internationally renowned Swiss photographer Annelies ·trba (born 1947) transforms the most accessible form of the photographic medium—the family photograph—into a vital theme. Through the depth of her technical work, the artist imbibes new quality into motifs that have been viewed a thousand times, familiar scenes with which we all identify. ·trba depicts these scenes from family life (for example with her daughters and grandchildren) transmitting a valuable, all-embracing message about interpersonal relations. With breathtaking ease, she transcends the boundaries of the banal and the concrete, bringing the photograph and its resonance into a timeless space while retaining its tender subtleties.

·trba has developed this theme simultaneously through still photography and video. In 1997 she made an essential shift in emphasis by abandoning conventional photography to concentrate exclusively on video and the digital reworking of its individual sequences. Utilizing a special technical approach, she began to extract film stills from her videos, self-contained images transformed by a unique painterly quality in fantastic magical colors of her imagination. The essential focus in her work continues to be moments of family life—occasions that are usually quickly forgotten due to their simplicity and quotidian transience, but rendered unforgettable through ·trba’s eyes.

An equally vital parallel focus in Annelies ·trba’s work is a series pursued from the very outset of her career: urban photographs and videos of cities. Modern technology has provided the artist the means of self-expression through nearly visionary slices of urban reality, which in certain instances acquire a tragic tone under the influence of political events, perhaps commemorating the vulnerability of human civilization; a tone particularly underscored through their contrast with her other extraordinarily personal work.

Annelies ·trba’s work can be found in private and museum collections internationally. The present exhibition—her first exhibition on the West Coast—is intended to present a crosssection of the oeuvre of this exceptional creative personality from 2003 through 2005. The works are not limited to the conventional medium of photography, but rather are adapted to the medium of inkjet on canvas, adopting painterly techniques via digital technology.

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Annelies Strba