“A brave new world“. The work of Andreas Gefeller shows parallels to Aldous Huxley’s novel. This also explains the title of the collection of photographs: “Soma”, the name of the drug which is meant to alter and make reality bearable in Huxley’s literary universe.
The photographic work “Soma” by the German photographer offers insights into an artificial, single purpose microcosm from the year 2000, showcasing itself under bright, artificial lighting. This world was entirely created by man. Night is arbitrarily turned into day. Indeed, the former appears to literally outshine the latter.
The photographs show a coastal strip of Gran Canaria bathed in light, despite being nocturnal views. A newly constructed, brightly illuminated holiday paradise is presented as a complete work of art – made up of repetitive structures and geometric shapes – baring itself under a deep night sky.
Under the glaring light, the facades create a surreal scenery and reveal a highly graphic structure, with the contours and sharp edges of every motive standing out. The images were taken using long exposures.
Palm trees and cacti are lined up to create an overly decorative scene that generates unease. Beach promenades with sun loungers are devoid of human presence. The excessive light is in direct contrast with the tidy, abandoned places. The artificial lighting occupies large planes of the image, pushing the shadows to the margins.
What remains is a numbing brightness and emptiness.