When Germany was hit by a second wave of COVID-19 and subsequent restrictions in late 2020, photographer and artist Jörg Gläscher decided to do a photo project in a forest that reflected what the world was going through.
The Leipzig, Germany-based Gläscher spent many days in the quiet location near Hamburg gathering wood and assembling them into giant waves sweeping across the forest floor.
“I was working (with the idea of) the pure power of nature, the all-destroying force, which brings one of the richest countries in the world to a completely still stand,” the photographer tells Colossal. “A wave is a periodic oscillation or a unique disturbance the state of a system.”
Between November 2020 through March 2021, Gläscher created 9 different waves.
“I only use what we call deadwood — I didn’t cut a single tree,” the photographer tells PetaPixel. “The largest, No. 8, is nearly 4 meters [13.1ft] high and 9 meters [29.5ft] wide. After I took the picture I destroyed it to build a new one from the material.”
These deadwood wave photos are a part of a bigger body of artwork Gläscher has been working on since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s titled C19,1-20, the diary complex, and “it contains 20 different pieces of work from photography to sculpture which I publish in self-promoted digital printed magazines, in small numbers,” he says.
Here’s the text Gläscher included alongside the wave photos in his magazine:
Observations are manifold, individual, not directly transferable, and can be experienced in many different ways. A perceived object can generate impact in numerous ways. Is it standing still? Has it moved? Nothing is ever as it seems.
Are appearances therefore deceptive? No, they are not necessarily deceptive, but they join me on a journey, wash over me, swirl through me, make me anxious, retreat, and then rush towards me all over again. “But that can‘t be,” says the left, “but I see and feel it,” says the right half of my brain.
I can go through them, stop them, touch them, but everything comes to a standstill and goes no further. I have to let it go. Standing up, the second wave rolls over me.
It is unique, it was unique. I lift my head, take it by the hand and recognize the vibration and the recurring sensation, and with it the fear disappears. Should it come, I will be ready.