A Long Night’s Journey: Expectations and Clearings in the Photography of Nicole Ahland


Through the study of light suffusing dark interior spaces, Ahland creates a metaphor for the transformation of the internal human experience. Just as the eye adapts to darkness, one’s perceptions are tempered during the long wait for the clarity of dawn. Ahland lays out how viewers’ expectations are interrupted – hope-filled clearings of vision are variously mollified and magnified by an infiltrating, mute brilliance. One is invited to explore textured, often obscured enchantments, as the journey leads into a flood of transcendence.

The photographs included in the exhibition stem from two bodies of work produced between 2010 and 2015. These night-long exposures were made in two neighboring inner-city churches in Cologne, Germany: the Gothic parish of Saint Peter’s and the endowed Romanesque St. Cecilia’s, which now houses the Schnütgen Museum of Medieval Art. By hosting Ahland’s work, the Manresa Gallery invites those spaces to enliven a meditational dialogue within another church venue.


More about the artist: Nicole Ahland uses analog photography to explore charged spaces; her work makes note of memories, moods, and histories. Ahland’s search for rooms with traces of upheavals or demolitions has lead her across Europe, and she continues to search for a distinguished spatial quality that often reveals the tension inherent in the relationship between the aesthetics of architecture and a space’s functionality.