The series of twenty-seven works (41 prints in 27 frames) entitled Scrittura dalla battigia (“Writing from the Shoreline”) occupies a central place in one of the principal themes tackled by the photographer over the course of his career. Right from the outset Hammacher (L’Aja, 1927) has linked his formal research to the land of his birth and to nature, with which he has a particular and special relationship. From the dunes and beaches of Wassenaar, on the Dutch coast of the North Sea, where water and land were the protagonists of his first photographs, Hammacher has pursued his investigation over the following decades in other locations, while keeping his focus on the limes, the unstable line and mutable boundary between water and land. Close-ups of the ripples of the sea on the shore and the succession of the tides are visual motifs that crop up over and over again, reworked over the entire span of his production and putting a forceful personal stylistic stamp on his research.
From the formal point of view, Hammacher approaches the theme without any intent to produce views or landscapes; rather he is attracted by forms, details of surfaces and colors. He follows and fixes the traces left by the tide, lingers over the shapes formed by things deposited on the sand. His constant research into tides, carried out at latitudes very far away from one another and at different seasons and times of day (precisely recorded by the author), reached its climax in the series Scrittura dalla battigia, in which Hammacher has brought together twenty-seven pictures dedicated to the sea as seen from Europe and America, taken in Normandy, on the Atlantic Ocean and on the Pacific Ocean, from the first glimmer of dawn to sunset.
Property of the Lombardy Region, entrusted to the Museum of Contemporary Photography
Contents 41 prints (27 photographic works)
Dating of works 1992-1997
Authors Arno Hammacher
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