Simone Rosenbauer’s latest unconventional photography collection is a tribute to the vibrancy and colour of summer – with further existential themes to be read into it, if you wish.
Her deceptively simple pop portraits of ice blocks and ice creams melting onto stark, day-glo backgrounds are immediately striking and playful. Like Ice In The Sunshine II (LA) is the sequel to Simone’s 2015 series, which focussed on Australian iced goods.
The German-born, Bondi-based photographer created the first series after an epiphany experienced on Bondi Beach:
“When I actually spent some time at the beach on my own it was very hot, and I was covered in sunscreen, and everything felt like [it was] melting…at the same time I looked at other people at the beach, wondering about their life…it was like a vision,” Rosenbauer recalled.
“I think they’re [ice creams] a beautiful cultural object…they make people happy,” she added.
The decision to pursue another popsicle collection in LA was inspired by the similarities and contrasts of the cities’ beach cultures, and geographical positions (LA is located on almost the same latitude as Sydney) – and sealed by a residency at the iconic Venice Beach.
Natural summer sunlight is an essential component in Rosenbauer’s experimental practice. Due to the uncertainty of the process, many of the images took up to seven attempts to capture. The artist’s final cut are the ice creams in their “best moment” – a moment in between future (melted) and past (frozen).
In showcasing the differences with popular American treats, opposed to the Golden Gaytimes and Paddle Pops of Australia’s freezers, part II throws a new light on exploring the “popsicle” as a cultural artefact.
The end result is a playful collection filled with immediacy and fondness, with an aftertaste of the transience of time. (AM)