Ralf Peters

In his “Yangmei” (2017) series, Ralf Peters has placed the focus on the fruits of an arbutus tree, native to China and East Asia but also the Mediterranean. The fruits take center stage in these images: juicy and round, with an almost artificial-looking skin that is purplish-red in color and highly saturated, they dangle in front of the milky white backdrop, while the green leaves on the branches merge into the formless surrounding sky. These digital still lives fetishize the surface: The details of the fruit pulp exterior are highly defined and draw the viewer in, demanding their observers’ full attention and enticing them into a tantalizing engagement with the visual subject matter. Peters’ aesthetic gives rise to a constructed reality and provokes irritations to our gaze by pitting staged immaculacy and documentary photography against each other: We no longer know which of the two we are faced with.