Solo Show / Artbits Gallery, Vienna 2017
Sculpted Land is comprised of a series of photographs depicting scenes from the weathered highlands and glacial fields of Iceland.
After an extended hiking trip there several years ago, Mascha was inspired to return in 2016 to capture the details of the vast, otherworldly landscapes shown in this exhibition. With his strong visual signature, his work seems to blend photography with more design-oriented compositional techniques. Ambiguities of depth and scale feature heavily in his studies of ice blocks recently separated from the Vatnajökull glacier, as they lie decaying on the black sand beach, their unexpected forms uniquely shaped by the waves and the wind as they slowly disappear into the frigid waters of the north Atlantic. Other motifs, like the Highland landscapes, their layered ground painted by routine volcanic eruptions and carved bare by ages of glacial activity and harsh weather conditions, their ridges highlighted by areas of unexpectedly bright-colored moss and snow, feel painterly in their use of composition and color.
Mascha began experimenting with long-exposure photography on his remote-area excursions in order to engage creatively with the complex, dynamic beauty he found there. Rather than setting up and waiting for the right conditions for a shot, he immerses himself in both the creative process and in the physical challenge of extended stays outdoors, relying on his instinct to set up and capture the scene at the right moment in time. An important medium and subject matter in his work is the dynamics of weather. By returning to locations at different times and seasons to study the way they are effected by the changing weather conditions, he is often exposed to the very same forces that sculpt the landscapes and give them the interesting attributes he aims to capture.