Rückenfigur by David Ashley Kerr
This large format photographic series by artist David Ashley Kerr began with the use of a visual device called the Rückenfigur, or ‘Back Figure,’ allowing the viewer an unhindered outlook toward a landscape, free from the gaze of the lone human subject placed within it. Influenced by 19th Century German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich, these works by Kerr similarly present solitary figures with their back to the viewer, or with an averted gaze.Drawing on the aesthetic conventions of romantic landscape art, Kerr has staged various figures in relationship to their surroundings. The early works in this series are a lyrical, allegorical interpretation of the Rückenfigur, with the lone human figure staged in a perpetual state of melancholy. Other figures - like the trash collector along the Yarra river, appear distracted by another presence, by an event passed - or seemingly about to happen.
Image: I Hear The Sea, David Ashley-Kerr, 2010