“Turning Time”, Gagosian Gallery, London, February 6 - April 15, 2018

Lutter has created camera obscura photographs of architecture, landscapes, metropolitan areas, and industrial sites since the early 1990s. Turning Time comprised two different bodies of work, one photographed at an ancient site of Greek Temples in the small town of Paestum, Italy, the other an observation of an enormous radio telescope at the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomiey in Germany, used for scientific research and recordings of cosmic activity in outer space. These two juxtaposing studies of historical monuments and pivotal technological innovations reflect Lutter’s ongoing interest with the forces of time and the interconnectedness of the past, present and future.

In both locations, Lutter transformed a standard-size shipping container into a camera obscura, one of the oldest image-capturing devices, whereby light enters into a dark camera space through a small hole, projecting an image into the camera interior on the wall opposite the hole. Lutter captures these projected images onto sheets of black and white photographic paper, her exposure times lasting several hours, days or even months. During this time the projected image inscribes itself as an inverted black-and-white negative, making each print a unique object.

In 2013, Lutter traveled to the far western region of the Eifel in Germany to photograph the Effelsberg Radio Telescope. With a diameter of 100 meters it is one of the largest radio telescopes on Earth, and collects ancient radio waves that have traveled for light years to reach the Institute’s recording devices. Over the course of a month, Lutter made a series of black-and-white images of the telescope while the instrument itself was exploring the farthest reaches of our galaxy, searching for information about the past and, possibly, the inception of our universe.

Conversely, the ancient site of Greek civilization Paestum, located in southern Italy, includes three temples constructed during the period of 560-450 BC as a tribute to the gods Athena, Hera and Neptune. Utilizing the camera obscura, Lutter photographed these ancient monuments that have claimed their place in history for nearly 2,600 years.

Lutter’s two projects contemplate the age of our universe, giving evidence to the simultaneous processes of the collection of radio waves from the far reaches of the universe and the collection of light rays that consistently enter into Lutter’s camera, inscribing themselves into a latent image, and providing an invitation to look at time itself.