An Oasis on the Road

By Marcel González Camarena

Ortolf Karla, born in Cologne, Germany, moved around the continent for more than 30 years through his collaboration with German and European TV stations and US corporate videos. The TV medium is inherently fast-paced in order to be on time for a news show with a satellite window or, in the case of documentaries, the pressure to remain in the time schedule a production office established, which rarely takes into account the conditions on real locations.

Photography by Ortolf Karla
Mon-Sun, 8am-7pm
Fundación Cultural Jorge González Camarena, A.C.
Pedro Páramo 3
Fracc. El Mirador
Until Fri, Dec 5

Certainly this was not the dream this boy had when he grew up with his ears glued to the radio, listening to travel reports from people who recorded sounds and described images from distant spots, way before TV took away the capacity for astonishment.

It`s early attempts to enter the world of still photography were cut short by having to work with moving image photography (film and video), belonging to the same family but incomparably more ephemeral.

However, at the time when preproduction of historical reconstruction  in   documentaries required still photography during the scouting for proper locations, both worlds of film and still photography came closer to each other. His long-hidden dream took a seat in the front row of visual activity.

But there was something more satisfying than the mere search for ideal locations. The eye of the nomad rested more and more not only on huge landscapes but also on the amazing textures and colors of very small things. It had a surprising effect on the observer himself. These were moments of quietness during the rush. It was as if he stopped to take a deep breath; indeed, it was taking some fresh air before the show went on.

The results shown in this exhibition, which runs through December 5 at the Fundación Cultural Jorge González Camarena, AC, are a collection of moments of rest, different from the honorable but restless job of a news photographer. It is the image the eye of a nomad sees when he encounters an oasis on his wandering journey.


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