"Backhaus has a wonderful sense of pacing and pattern, which is conveyed both in individual photographs (...) and in the organization of the images in the book, which is itself covered in a delicate, doilylike punk-and-white lace." art on paper, 2006
The photographer Jessica Backhaus has traveled in the region of
the Polish province of Pomosrskie repeatedly since 1993. She spent a total of three and a half years portraying the town of Netno and its residents. She shows people in their apartments, at work, and in the untouched Polish landscape. With a sure eye and an unusual colour language, she points out important but easily overlooked details: plastic flowers and crocheted pillowcases, images of saints and lace doilies, and cherries preserved in mason jars. The pictures are neither intrusive nor tactless; she encounters people with dignity and full of admiration for the way of life of Polandï¿½s rural population.
The intimate character of the photos suggests that the German-
American photographer must have developed a special relationship to her subject: In Backhaus photographs we feel the warmth, cordiality, and authenticity with which she was received in Poland. The photographers clear gaze captured the beauty of everyday details and moods. Jesus and the Cherries describes a Poland still a long way from the modernizations that full integration in the European Union will bring. Jessica Backhaus thus tells a tale of traditional ways of life that may already belong to the past.
Jessica Backhaus was born in Cuxhaven, Germany, and currently resides in New York.
At the age of sixteen, she moved to Paris, where she spent the next eight years, studying photography and visual communications and working as a picture editor. During that time she mets Giselle Freund, who becomes her mentor. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Europe and the United States including the National Portrait Gallery, London and the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin.
Jessica Backhaus is represented by Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York and The Photographers Gallery, London.
Authors: Monica Rydiger, Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen
Artists: Jessica Backhaus
24,6 x 32,8 cm
94 color photographs