Martin Wolf Wagner is a photographer of metaphor, a chronicler of the metaphysical. His tools of the trade may be those of classical landscape photography, namely analog large format or high-resolution digital medium format and tripod, as are most of his motifs: coastlines, urban spaces, sports fields, ocean vedute. But although Wagner's images depict all this with a high level of detail, these pictures aim at spaces of meaning beyond the visible, perhaps even the conceivable. They are about elementary enigmas, categories, and phenomena: time, light, space, infinity. This becomes particularly clear when one compares Wagner's early works; there, a seeker was still on the move, extracting special moments from everyday life by means of targeted snapshots. But the longer Wagner set up his black light trap boxes, the more he reduced his yield. Today, Wagner's photographs seem like concentrates of reflection on the world; empty surfaces, artificial shifts of color and brightness, series with tiny differences in the frame of always the same sceneries characterize his work. And even where the images are narrative and the subjects are almost winkingly brushed against convention - in Wagner's extensive series on deserted, nocturnal soccer fields around the world - a great silence runs through the motifs as an atmospheric keynote - if not the cosmos itself as an all-arching co-player determining the events.


Martin Wolf Wagner's photography is philosophizing with an exposure meter, a search for forms of meditation on the world.