by Roger Eberhard
With 34 pictures of trees and houses Roger Eberhard created a great book that forces a reflection on the eerie emptiness and discomfort behind the facade. The excellent design by Alexandra Bruns, the special binding and a 140 cm long leporello furthermore make the book a bibliophilic gem.
34 pictures of houses and trees. The houses are standing clean and intact in the dim evening light directly on the roadside. The trees look healthy with their green crowns in bright sunlight against a pale blue sky. However, something is wrong here, but what?
Stefanie Gerke reveals it in her essay, that she wrote for the book:
"There is no longer anyone living in the houses on Hasselwerder Straße in Neuenfelde. That is due, strictly speaking, to the geographical location. The street is only a few hundred meters south of the new starting and landing runways of the German headquarters of the firm Airbus. In 2004, Airbus went public with its plans for the extension of the airfield for what is currently the world’s largest passenger airplane, the A380. The mega-liner … was meant to start and land directly over the Hasselwerder Straße. The Hamburg Senate feared lawsuits from the house owners due to the noise pollution and prevented this by simply buying up sixty-seven homes in the approach path. The inhabitants moved out with their belongings; only the shells of the houses remained."
2013, Peperoni Books
22,5 x 28,5 cm, 88 Pages, 34 colour images, 140 cm Leporello included
By Roger Eberhard / James Nizam
Dark green and brown tones prevail in these images. Untouched undergrowth, interspersed with moss and ferns. Rainforest. And yet people have left traces. Crumbling into decay, wood huts are to be seen in some pictures, more or less shaped piles of planks, beams and wedges on others. Mysterious remains of bygone bustle already overlaid and penetrated by the returning nature, photographed rich in detail but inexplicable. An idea of eternity is blowing through these images.
Eberhard and Nizam have photographed the series on a small island in Canada. It belongs to the indigenous people of the Katzie. 40 years ago, they have leased the island to an entrepreneur, who made plans for a holiday paradise. Huts were built, a restaurant opened, but it was not successful. The cultivated plots were then rented individually. Families spent their weekends and their holidays here, some users wanted to stay her for retirement and upgraded their homes. Then the period of lease ended and the Katzie were not willing to extend it. Some houses were burned down by their owners, others were just left behind, many were torn down.
Years later, Roger Eberhard and James Nizam have now photographed, what is left of the ruins. And even if it is good to know the story behind the pictures, they tell a different, a larger one.
An idea of eternity is blowing through these images.
Peperoni Books, 2011; in collaboration with James Nizam
Texts by Dion Kliner and Ludwig Seyfarth
24 x 30 cm, 64 pages, 19 colour images
Signed book: CHF 75
In Good Light
Durch die Wirtschaftskrise verloren in den vergangenen Jahren viele Menschen in den USA ihre
Arbeit und damit ihr Zuhause. Auch im kalifornischen Santa Barbara, wo der in Zürich geborene
Fotograf Roger Eberhard am Brooks Institute of Photography studiert hat, waren plötzlich nicht mehr
nur Randständige ohne Dach über dem Kopf, sondern auch Menschen, die nie damit gerechnet hatten. 2007 sprach Eberhard mehrere Obdachlose auf der Strasse an und bat sie in ein Fotostudio,
wo er sie – oft erst nach langen Gesprächen – porträtierte. In Good Light ist das Resultat dieser sensiblen Annäherung an die teils unverschuldete, teils selbst gewählte, in jedem Fall harte Lebens-situation. Die 30 sorgfältig fotografierten Porträts zeigen eigensinnige Persönlichkeiten, die ihre Würde bewahrt haben und Kraft ausstrahlen, obwohl die schwierige Existenz deutliche Spuren hinterlassen hat. Das Santa Barbara Museum of Art zeigt ab Mai 2011 Roger Eberhards Porträts in einer Ausstellung.
Im Vorfeld erscheint das Buch In Good Light mit einer Einführung von Karen Sinsheimer, Kuratorin für Fotografie des Museums, und einem Text des Schriftstellers Bernhard Schlink. Von einem persönlichen Erlebnis und den Porträts ausgehend, beschäftigt sich Schlink mit der Würde der Obdachlosen.
Scheidegger & Spiess, 2011
Texts by Karen Sinsheimer and Bernhard Schlink
28.5 x 30 cm, 64 pages, 30 b/w illustrations
Roger Eberhard, born 1984 in Zurich, is a graduate from the Brook
Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, and currently lives and works
in Berlin. In late 2008 he set out for a trip searching for the
visually lyrical backstage of the US. He started his road trip in Reno.
From there it led him from Nevada to Montana, on to North and South
Dakota, then to Nebraska and Wyoming, from where he drove to Denver,
then to Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and finally through Arizona
back to Nevada.
In his essay for this book, Anthony Bannon, the director of the reknown George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, the International Museum of Photography and Film, reconstructs the story of the photographer’s trip through his Wilted Country with these words: “Sometimes the process of transformation has moved further along. Only a sign remains, or just the silo, or the gas pump.
The grass around has grown tall, bends back in the breeze. Roger Eberhard, the photographer,
has left his sign, too, and just as fugitively. His images occupy an edge, just a faint edge,
of perception. Like the places they depict, Eberhard's photographs are at a boundary between
what can be seen and understood and what cannot.”
Edited by Walter Keller, Eberhard's photographs in this book are accompanied by two essays
written by Anthony Bannon and the young German writer Benedict Wells.
Scheidegger & Spiess, 2010
Edited by Walter Keller. Essays by Anthony Bannon and Benedict Wells
20.5 x 27 cm, 80 pages, 41 color illustrations
signed book: CHF 75
Offered here in as new condition is Roger Eberhard's “Callas,” published in 2008 by Modernbook Editions. This Limited Edition includes a first edition book, signed by the Artist in silver ink on the frontispiece, along with a signed and numbered print. The pigment dye transfer print, measuring
10 x 6.75 inches on 12.5 x 9.5 inch glossy paper. It is hand numbered and signed at the bottom,
which is visible through the matte paper framing it, and secured to the folder via four elastic bands.
Both the book and the print come housed inside a clothbound clamshell case. Just 100 casebound copies were issued. “Callas” is a magnificent monograph by Roger Eberhard focused on one thing:
the visually complex calla lily. His series of photographs explore the textures and contours of the
flower in close-up images.
At this level of detail, the petals impress with astounding natural colors and unexpected lines. Occasionally, the composition and lighting are such that we forget exactly what we're
looking at – it could be natural or man-made...scale becomes subjective and disorienting
and, perhaps, irrelevant. It is a thrilling experience.