Overview participating exhibitions
IN VIVO | the nature of nature
Playing in wild gardens and woods, building tree huts, camping, looking for mushrooms and trying to heal wounded animals: they are Thomas Zika’s finest childhood memories. He reflects on this in SOMNAMBULE FLOWERS, by creating a disintegrating Garden of Eden, which in turn is inspired by sketching in large books with wallpaper samples as a child. On a background of wallpaper or his own landscape photographs, Zika makes patterns using dried flowers and plants. He populates them with birds and snakeskins, puts flowers in the bellows of the large-format camera that he uses to capture the final images with, and places branches behind the collages which he illuminates with backlighting. He treats the footage months in advance with fungal spores. The excess of all these elements evokes associations of beauty, fertility, death and hallucination. The end result brings the viewer into a sleepwalking state of mind – ‘somnambule’ – in which memory and reality flow into each other.
Thomas Zika (West Germany, 1963) studied Photography, Design and Art in Dortmund, Vienna and Wuppertal. He worked at the University of Wuppertal as a photography lecturer until 2016. His work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in Europe, the United States and India. Since 2002, Zika is a senior lecturer in Photography and Art at the Ecosign Academy in Cologne.