Jürgen Nefzger: Fluffy Clouds
Text by Ulrich Pohlmann.
A European analogue to Mitch Epstein’s stirring project American Power, Jürgen Nefzger’s photographic series Fluffy Clouds likewise depicts tranquil landscapes with the apparatus of atomic power looming just behind. In Nefzger’s idyllic views of Europe, deliberately evocative of Romantic and pastoral themes, sheep graze on hilly meadows, bathers sun themselves at the beach and a lone fisherman contemplates a riverbank. Yet cooling towers and nuclear reactors are never far away--sometimes overtly visible, sometimes only hinted at by distant misty clouds. What hope does nature’s classic beauty have when pitted against the destructive effects of human intervention? Fluffy Clouds, which also includes text by Ulrich Pohlmann, depicts this difficult juxtaposition, while simultaneously critiquing the atomic energy PR image of a halcyon world in harmony with the use of nuclear energy. Nefzger’s images reveal the conflicts behind that apparent innocence, and the serious threat behind the fantasy.