Beautiful Field, 2005 – 2006

This photographic work is concentrated upon modern urban and rural landscapes in the run-up of the extension of the Airport Berlin - Schönefeld. In particular it is focused on the influences of the Airport Berlin – Schönefeld on its rural surroundings. The Airport Berlin – Schönefeld, one of three airports in Berlin, will become one of Germany’s and Europe’s major airports within the next five years. Schönefeld itself, which literally translated means “beautiful field”, is a small village placed in a rural surrounding on the boundaries of Berlin.

Within the work the photographer is interested in exploring the influences of modernity on the urban and rural landscape. The analysis of a potential singe event (here airport) on a local level (Schönefeld) offers an intriguing contrast between what we perceive as modern or as new and that what has been already in theses places such as fields, houses, and other familiar objects. In particular this contrast becomes most obvious during the night and its darkness where the “new”, the “oldrdquo;, and the common in terms of artificial and natural light evoke a perception of beauty which is contestable. Stephan wanted to offer a visual understanding of an aesthetic pleasure which is situated on the one hand between more common views of beauty in landscape and on the other hand between a deep feeling of estrangement and uncanniness based on different types of light.

For that reason the photographs are firstly based on long night exposures in order to shape out the interplay of different forms of artificial and natural light which represent what we understand as modern or as common. Secondly, the movements of airplanes are part of a visual structure of the work which is based on repetition and variation of common typologies such as airport, houses, fields and objects. This visual rhythm represents on the one hand the fragmentation and complexity of that space which is captured between what we call modern and what we perceive as “old”. On the other hand it characterises the periodic effect – or the rhythm – of starting and landing airplanes (every ten to twenty minutes) on the surroundings of the beautiful fields of Schönefeld.

This body of work contains 30 photographs.

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