Neufundland, City 2 (from a series of photographs and postcards of the same title), 2001,
Lambda print on PVC, 90 x 115 cm,
© and courtesy the artists
Neufundland, Desert 3 (from a series of photographs and postcards of the same title), 2001,
Lambda print on PVC, 90 x 115 cm,
© and courtesy the artists
Neufundland, Jungle 3 (from a series of photographs and postcards of the same title), 2001,
Lambda print on PVC, 90 x 115 cm,
© and courtesy the artists
Neufundland, Moon 2 (from a series of photographs and postcards of the same title), 2001,
Lambda print on PVC, 90 x 115 cm,
© and courtesy the artists
Neufundland, Sea 1 (from a series of photographs and postcards of the same title), 2001,
Lambda print on PVC, 90 x 115 cm,
© and courtesy the artists

Paul Horn & Lotte LyonThe No-Man’s-Land of Deceptions

 

. . . ‘You might have believed’: that is the sort of illusion that enchants. If we didn’t see through it, it would remain a misconception; without affectionate intimacy, it would be merely trivial and silly . . .

Lotte Lyon and Paul Horn’s photographic series Neufundland (’Newfoundland’) presents the audience with something resembling a landscape –a virgin territory made up of models, most of which consist of simple found objects. In some works the illusion is utterly manifest; with others it takes very close inspection to detect it. The series serves in this instance as instructions about how to read the individual picture. As with all deception in art, it is crucial that Neufundland not deceive the audience – the beholder must instead be ‘in cahoots with’ the artists, as the psychoanalyst Octave Mannoni has put it. If, for example, we were to take a murder committed in a crime movie to be an actual violent crime, it would cease to give us pleasure. So the illusion must be rendered an ‘anonymous’ illusion. ‘You might have believed’ is its formula. And in the case of Neufundland, we may add:  . . .even though the means are so simple. Sophisticated model-making might elicit our admiration; found objects, by contrast, impart a mischievous delight.

Robert Pfaller