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Der Orinoco am Camp Orinoquia, nachmittags

Humboldts Wiederkehr
For the 200th anniversary of Alexander von HumboldtsWiederkehr’s (1769-1859) exploration to Central and South America from 1799-1804, the Goethe Institute in Caracas invited Michael Wesely and other artists in 1999 to take part in the exhibition “El ritorino de HumboldtsWiederkehr”. With a self-made pinhole camera, constructed using a horizontal slit rather than a round opening, Michael Wesely photographed the tropical landscape of Orinoco, which then took the form of abstract horizontal strips in various tones of blue and green. The dissolving of the original motif into abstract color strips is due to the modification of the camera. It is also a reference to Alexander von HumboldtsWiederkehr`s analytical method of using precise measuring instruments in his work. Nevertheless, the contrast of the precise names of the sites in the photographs and the abstract transformation of the motif equally presents a point of quandary for the viewer, which returns a bit of mystery to the now intensely researched area of Orinoco.