My work has long focused on our perception of nature and how the act of seeing a photograph establishes a transitory thread between the viewer and the environment depicted. With Public Parking I focused on non-places, specifically parking lots, in an attempt to confront people with the eerie beauty of completely ignored spaces. In my Habitat series, I use large-format shots of categorical landscapes to create living spaces for birds, insects and reptiles. Currently, I have broadened my focus to dams. The ultimate goal for this project is to create a photographic typology of these architectural structures that have the ability to visually manifest the human struggle between economic progress and preservation of the environment. I continue to work in large format, as the grand scale captures and highlights details the human eye alone could not, thus forcing the viewer to confront unseen, or at least till now unperceived realities.
In the context of wilderness preservation, dam architecture dominates the constitution of specific habitats, as the integration of a dam often results in the flooding of a whole valley. However, while numerous habitats are destroyed, new habitats are simultaneously established. The dam is mostly a massive concrete wall that entails in itself the controversial aspect of power politics and the intention of preservation of natural habitats and wilderness. Where there is a dam, a pipeline, or any other structure of similar significance, the attempt at preservation of the affected wilderness has failed prior to the structure's erection.
The tendency to rely solely on images in place of actual experience is increasing. Our relationship with technology is growing while our actual experience with the tactile world is in decline. I believe it is therefore critical to establish evidential visual representations of nature, but this is partnered with the cognition that what I present to a viewer is essentially my conclusion of what constitutes a natural habitat and not the habitat itself, like a diorama entices a museum patron by representing a place or time one cannot tangibly access.
With my images, I hope to contribute to greater recognition, protection and preservation of nature. As such, these photographs desire to simulate a reality so alluring as to momentarily suspend the viewerís rooted station in a location outside of true wilderness. When the viewer steps away, however, the image is reduced to a lure, beckoning the viewer to entertain the actual world on the other side.
born: 1971, Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, Germany
University of Applied Sciences, Dortmund, Germany, BFA 2004
Ohio University, MFA 2008
Jurorís Award of Excellence, Utah12: Craft & Photography, Rio Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT, October 2012
Second Place, National Juried Photography Exhibition Center of Photography at Steenbock Gallery Madison, Wisconsin, March 2011
Max Orovitz Research Award, Summer 2009
Fulbright Scholarship 2001
Enigmatic landscapes: Parking garages in the photography of Carsten Meier. Interview. National Building Museum, Washington, D.C. April 2010.
Kennicott, Philip. On the spot: Putting parking in its proper place. The Washington Post. 1 November 2009.
"Ein Parkplatz ist kein Ort zum Leben." Rev. of Public Parking, by Carsten Meier. Sueddeutsche Zeitung. 11 July 2005: 14.
Monograph: Public Parking. Bielefeld: Kerber Verlag, 2005.
selected solo or two-person exhibits
Solo: The Eagle Never Lost so Much Time as When He Submitted to Learn of the Crow, photographs and installation, Gallery 102, Caine College of the Arts, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, 2013
Solo: Liminal Spaces, photographs, The Deering Estate at Cutler, Miami, Florida, 2011
Two-Person: Bewilder: Jimmy Fike and Carsten Meier, Five 15 Arts, Phoenix, Arizona, 2011
Solo: Naturell, photographs, The Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, Florida, 2009
selected group shows
Utah 12: Craft & Photography, Utah Arts Council Juried Exhibition, Rio Gallery, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2012
Liminal Spaces, The Deering Estate at Cutler, Miami, Florida, 2011
National Juried Photography Exhibition, Center for Photography at Steenbock Gallery, Madison, Wisconsin, 2011
Wet, CANDO Arts Co-op, Miami Beach, Florida, 2010