from The New York Art World, April, 2004
Busse and Doris Mitsch
two-person show of photographs by Dietmar Busse and Doris Mitsch,
dubbed Hybrid, presents two remarkable sets of images that
share botanical themes.
photographs his own body, nude; covered head to toe in white, black
and red, with the identical color background, rendering his face androgenous.
There, and on his body, he has adhered various parts of plants; stems,
leaves, petals, entire blossoms. It's a striking take on the masque,
reducing his body to a primary-pigmented canvas, with petals that
evoke feathers spilling over his face to strew themselves around the
rest of his body.
In November 26, 2002, he's all white with red petals covering
his face and torso; Gauguin depicts him all black with large
tropical flowers in his ear on on his face; and in Red we
see him all red, gazing mournfully with one eye at the viewer, his
upper body strewn with white petals, and his head capped with pink
and white flowers. Then, in a closeup titled Venice, the
masque becomes explicit through the simple expedient of cutting eye-holes
in an anthurium leaf (the heart-shaped leaf with the protruding finger)
and wearing it as a Venetian Commedia dell'arte masque against his
white-farded face. There is a strong dose of whimsy in these deadpan
self-metamorphoses, that the artist seems to be asking us to take
seriously, at least for a moment the fact that he's transformed himself
into a purely decorative object.
Doris Mitsch offers something of a meditative revelation. She has placed flowers and other plant parts on a scanner and captured digital images without a camera. Her images are surprisingly sharp for being captured without a lens. The technique imparts a soft glow to lotus bulbs that seems to emanate drom inside them. The pink one, Lotus 2, is especially compelling. Her "Darkness" series explores plant forms closeup, revealing the fingerlike quality of the mass of begonia petals, Darkness D, the stately tapering of an orchid detail, Darkness N, the rebarbative extraterrestrial delicacy of a trumpeter pod, Darkness U, and the sensuous curves of the edges of an orange lily-like flower, Darkness R. She is most effective when distilling a graphic quality of her plant subject by showing only a portion of it, and this touch is what distinguishes these images from other perhaps more common floral studio portraits.