Published by Hatje Cantz. 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.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Preface by Nathalie Roux. Text by Mathilde Roman.
German-born, Paris-based photographer Jürgen Nefzger is known for ecologically minded series that pit hypersaturated shots of pristine landscapes against images of manmade industry. Fluffy Clouds (2003-2006), for instance, features idyllic landscapes in France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Britain and Belgium that ironically frame the iconic billowing clouds emitted by nuclear power plants. In Panta Rhei (2006), a photograph of melting Alpine glaciers is placed next to that of a bustling ski resort. Nocturnes includes images taken in Clermont-Ferrand, France, at the foot of the Puys mountains, a chain of volcanoes for which the city is famous. The Puy-de-Dôme, the tallest volcano, sports a mass of visible telecommunication antennas. In this volume, Nefzger takes us on a journey beginning at the top of the volcanoes and venturing down into the city. Jürgen Nefzger was born in Fürth, Germany, in 1968. He is represented by Galerie Françoise Paviot, Paris.