René Algesheimer

APHAIRESI, 2018 - TODAY

My project is an exploration of the beauty and complexity of geometric forms in nature. Through my lens, I capture the essence of these forms and reveal their inherent geometric patterns and structures. Using black and white photography, I have deliberately removed the distraction of colour to focus attention on the lines, shapes, and textures that make up these striking landscapes.

My work is inspired by the principles of geometric expressionism, a movement that emphasizes the power of geometric forms to convey emotion and meaning. Through my photographs, I aim to create a visual language that is both universal and deeply personal, evoking a sense of wonder and awe at the natural world.

The Greek word for abstraction is αφαίρεση (aphairesi), which means “removal” or “withdrawal”. This term is used in philosophy to refer to the process of abstracting or separating an idea or concept from its concrete or sensory representations. In art, abstraction refers to the process of reducing a form or image to its essential geometric or formal elements, which can then be rearranged to create a new visual language.

In my process, I begin by immersing myself in the environment, studying the contours and angles of the sand dunes, mountains, or rocks, searching for the most interesting and dynamic compositions and their interplay with light. I use careful framing and perspective to capture these forms to emphasize their unique geometry and texture.

The project follows Clement Greenberg’s idea of abstract expressionism. As a mathematician, through this project, I challenge viewers to see the world in a new way, to appreciate the beauty and complexity of geometric forms, and to consider the ways in which the language of geometry can be used to express a wide range of emotions and experiences.

USA, Switzerland, UAE, 2018 – today

FALLING BEAUTY, 2019-2020

A Study of Beauty and Decay.

Glacier caves. At a macro-level they are beautiful arrangements of cyanic blues, allowing a look back into the history of majestic glaciers. Mystic, yet wonderful hideouts that have witnessed slow passing centuries. At a micro-level, the ice continues to uncover beautiful forms emerging from snow crystals, melting ice, flowing water, and the everlasting rocks under the surface. The concept of time here, however, is fluid and moving. A world in decay.

Although beautiful creatures, these caves have emerged because of global warming, as melting water has run under, through, or on top of the glacier. While the water was the origin of the glaciers, meltwater is the harbinger of their decay. As such, the beauty of these ice creatures is volatile and fading. Bleeding snapshots of a disappearing landscape.

Alaska, Iceland, Switzerland | 2019-2020

LIQUID GOLD, 2022

Liquid Gold explores the beauty and importance of water through light and reflections on stones in a river. I present water as liquid gold, highlighting its value to us as human beings.

Despite covering 71 percent of the Earth’s surface, only a small fraction of water is fresh and drinkable, and an even smaller amount is accessible in rivers, lakes, and streams. Unfortunately, about 10 percent of the world’s population lacks access to clean drinking water. My aim with Liquid Gold is to bring attention to this critical issue and to remind us of the significance of this natural resource.

Through my lens, water transforms into a captivating element, shimmering and reflecting light in a way that mimics the precious metal. The stones in the river become the perfect canvas to showcase this transformation, as they break up the flow of the water and create interesting shapes and textures that add to the overall beauty of the images.

I hope that these images encourage viewers to pause and reflect on the beauty and importance of water in our lives. By presenting water as liquid gold, I hope to evoke a sense of awe and appreciation for this essential resource and to inspire action toward preserving and protecting it for future generations.

France | 2022

PAINTED RAW, 2022 - TODAY

“Painted Raw” explores the stunning and abstract beauty of rocks that look like expressionist paintings. These rocks are a raw ingredient of our world, present before humans and long after we are gone. They are a powerful symbol of the co-existence of nature and human civilization, silently witnessing and recording the impact of our behaviour and treatment of the natural world.

I capture the dynamic lines, intense textures, and delicate colours of these rock formations, revealing the irrevocable history and wounds of time that they contain. These structures on the rocks, reminiscent of abstract expressionism, reveal the lived experiences of the natural world through silent observation and participation. They are a testament to the power and complexity of nature, and a reminder of the profound impact that humans have on the environment.

My work is inspired by the principles of geometric expressionism, a movement that emphasizes the power of geometry to convey emotion and meaning. Through my photographs I seek to create a visual language that speaks to the universal human experience and evokes a sense of wonder and awe at the natural world.

Ultimately, my project is a meditation on the beauty, power, and fragility of the natural world, and a call to action to protect and preserve the irreplaceable wonders that surround us.

Spain | 2022 – today

TOGETHER, 2019-2020

This ongoing body of work explores togetherness and examines the “I” in the “we”.

As a social scientist, I am interested in interconnections and the importance of social grouping for the wellbeing of the individual. Today, in highly dynamic surroundings we are pervaded with temptations of consumption, causing us to lose a vital connection to ourselves and our loved ones. In this work, I convey how Togetherness is a duality between the individual and a group having both enriching, positive as well as limiting, negative aspects that need to be balanced.

With this series, I have created mirrored diptychs of trees at a location I consider home. These groups of trees stand together on a high plateau in Switzerland, surviving through harsh weather conditions. Using my scientific background, I present the trees in such a way that each diptych represents different dimensions of Togetherness: Belongingness, attachment, support or conflict, and pressure. For every photograph, I created an inverted version and juxtaposed it with the original white version. The resulting set of diptychs marries the facets of Togetherness.

Switzerland | 2019-2020

TRANSITIONS, 2018

“The only constant in life is change” | Heraclitus

We start in one place and end in another. These transitions tame our high spirits and while we believe we are in a defining state, we are again in a transition. Transitions are the only constant in life. As we observe these transitions around us, we are simultaneously part of them. The longer we observe them, the more we realize that we can initiate these changes ourselves. In the end, we ourselves are also one cause of the transition. Finding harmony between giving things their course and being the change ourselves.

A snow blizzard collapsed into Huangshan, a mountain range in the Anhui province is eastern China. For the beauty of two days, it covered the pine trees and granite peaks with frost and snow. The wind sculptured shapes of snow and pushed us into a transition between cover and bloom, between light and shadow, between the past and the future. In a country that itself is politically and culturally in transition.

China, 2018