The source of arts is longing, a longing to express the innermost which has so many facets that it needs to be condensed to a more or less symbolic vision for really being able to bear the essential. This being true for any form of art it certainly is for the photography of Eugen Kamenew: It expresses the wish of getting close while not being able to overcome the distance, to capture the evanescent yearning for making it last and it reveals the foreign aspects of the common by embedding it in an extraordinary light, culminating in visualizing the energy around us, flowing through us. Silhouettes of architecture, human crowds or single persons but mostly of loving couples shaped and exposed by exceptional sky phenomena is the code of Kamenews artistic language. The composition of his photography mostly needs deliberate planning in advance, since he treats his digital camera like an analog one refusing any manipulation and depicting only real moments in time. Due to solar eclipses being the main setting this leaves only small windows of place and time to ban his vision.
Bathed in spectacular light it is not clear whether the human silhouettes in front of Kamenews photos belong to the earth they stand on or to the colour radiating planet behind them – they are familiar and alienated at the same time, even the couples though their holding hands or kissing link them strongly to the world as we know it. Location and relative distance of the planets as well as the nature of their interaction remain even more vague. A specific parallel between them and human kind gets obvious: Like planets men and women circle through their life each on an own individual orbit and even if getting closer to one another they can’t leave it, though there evidently is a certain interference, an inclination for modification. More ore less severe or clear. And more or less stable. Solar eclipses particularly mirror these aspects. The planetary contact though being an illusion nevertheless is emitting an enormous amount of energy just as spectacular as the human one while transformation doesn’t touch anything but the surface. Yet, and this is the final message of Eugen Kamenews photography, the experience of beauty, of the extraordinary and of love generates moments of eternity enabling us to bridge the gaps between us. They may be evanescent and can’t be possessed but their power is changing the quality of our being and, at times, even of our orbit. It is all about being ready to share those moments – Eugen Kamenew is.
Kirsty Werheit ( Radio Journalist, Cologne )