The magazine of the photo-essay
Jan 2018 back issue
Under Water’s Skin
“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
by Ulrike Crespo
The Mysterious Beauty of the Underwater World Life underwater follows its own optical laws, governed by a different ‘doctrine of the visible’. The light diminishes with increasing depth, and the eye is no longer able to neatly construct what it sees, instead opening wide and becoming more receptive. Webs, membranes, gossamer tissues made up of thousands of luminescent filigree fingers: the eye of the camera ventures into these undulating forests of algae and seaweed as if in possession of a remote motion detection organ like that of a fish. In Ulrike Crespo’s new book of photographs, she brings together in a unique way the two levels of perception on which her photographs seem to operate. The first is the
visual, optical level, based on a certain mental distance. And the second level that these images bring into play is a sense that undermines mere superficial appearances. This sense is not directed outward, but rather inward, or – from the point of view of the picture – toward the fluid abyss lurking below the surface. The billowing green flora that overflows from the picture frame inundates our gaze, jolts it out of its distanced composure and makes the visual coordinates falter.
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