Harald Popp’s (*1974 in Hamburg, lives and works in Hamburg) photography explores the relationship between digital images and their effects on our everyday perception of reality. This work proceeds from the assumption that we are dealing with manipulated digital images on a daily basis. Popp works exactly with this discomfort, not by digitally manipulating his images but by carefully crafting his scenarios by hand. Using everyday objects such as vases, books, and knick knacks from thrift stores, he flattens the distinction between these objects and their image by condensing them within the formal plane of the photograph and its framing. By doing so, Popp produces formal experiments that highlight elements of pattern, color, depth as much as the function of the image itself.
For this year’s edition, Popp has produced a series of three prints continuing his experiments with studio photography. Two of these images feature a found object, a small ornament of an owl made of stone, set against what appears to be a psychedelic background. The swirling patterns on the object take on the effect of a kind of camouflage. The play between these colors, patterns and textures seems to flatten the distinction between foreground and background, photographic subject and its setting, creating an image that provokes the eye to find distinction in its forms. While the third image shows a flat-lay of an open book typical of product photography, the book here is also a carrier of an image: a photograph doctored by hand by the artist. This image shows a marble plinth, again repeating the patterning of the other two images, which