Today I wanted to die again
It is the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. Previously known for his altered silver gelatin prints based in his own photography, Busse in this show has eschewed photographic reproduction entirely in a radical departure in the medium.
Busse's new works are based entirely in traditional darkroom photography with one exception: there is no negative. The history of image-less photography tends toward abstraction and play with light, from the Rayograph to more contemporary practices. For Busse the alteration is chemical and the results alchemical. To create his new body of work, Busse exposes the entire sheet of photographic paper immediately to the light, in a conventional sense ruining it. He then applies the photographic developer with a brush as a painter would on canvas. The developer causes a chemical reaction that leaves saturated black lines and stains on the exposed paper. After the initial drawing is completed and the paper properly fixed, washed and dried, Busse uses photographic bleaches, inks and dyes to further push the potential of the medium.
The imagery in the works reflects Busse's memories, emotions and impressions of his childhood in the 1960's and 70's in rural West Germany. In the series Accidents in paradise , debuted at the 2020 Outsider Art Fair, Busse depicts in multiple iterations the violence and disorder hidden behind symmetrical vegetable gardens and lace curtains. In a newer series of shrouded figures Busse interrogates his relationship to his own history and his own pain. These highly personal and memory-based scenes defy the temporal structure of traditional photography, which freezes life at the moment of the shutter click. Busse uses the language, structure and material of darkroom photography to elasticize time, mirroring the accumulative nature of trauma.