zondag 25 november 2012

Wolfgang's Truth Neue Welt Wolfgang Tillmans Photography

Life as Wolfgang sees it

Tillmans's latest project sets its sights on the world

Over the period of more than two decades, Wolfgang Tillmans has explored the medium of photo-imaging with greater range than any other artist of his generation. From snapshots of his friends to abstract images made in a darkroom without a camera or works made with a photocopier, he has pushed the photographic process to its outer limits in myriad ways. For this collection of photos, his fourth book with TASCHEN, Tillmans turned away from the self-reflexive exploration of the photography medium that had occupied him for several years by focusing his lens on the outside world—from London and Nottingham to Tierra del Fuego, Tasmania, Saudi Arabia, and Papua New Guinea. He describes this new phase simply as “trying out what the camera can do for me, what I can do for it.” The result is a powerful and singular view of life today in diverse parts of the world, seen from many angles. Says Tillmans, “My travels are aimless as such, not looking for predetermined results, but hoping to find subject matter that in some way or other speaks about the time I'm in.”

The book features a conversation between the artist and Beatrix Ruf, director of Kunsthalle Zurich.


I did not have a penny in my pocket and I left it there. I mean Neue Welt, the new book by Wolfgang Tillmans (ed. Taschen). I leafed through it. I’m going to take it in the coming days. It is a beautiful book, as indeed are his others. On October 6, has opened a major retrospective at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm (until 20 January). While at Kunsthalle in Zurich there is an exhibition of new works, which is called, in fact, Neue Welt, the new world (until November 4). 
To tell the truth, I am not able to write an organic reflection summarizing the reasons why I think that Tillmans is one of the artists I love the most. I try but I try to list a few ideas:
  1. He is not a photographer who takes pictures fine art, but an artist who uses photography
  2. He photographs beautiful things and ugly things. But his photos are always beautiful
  3. He is a very conceptual artist, but you do not need to be smart to rejoice in his works
  4. It is one of the best portraitist I know. Perhaps the best
  5. His amazement for nature is the same as the amateur photographer. The difference is that he knows how to communicate without tricks
  6. His love for the little things in life is a form of maximalism (reminds me of Carver)
  7. The way of combining the images (both in books and in exhibitions) breaks through the wall of poetry
  8. The abstract photos are sensual and mysterious. If there were no one should invent
  9. It combines the best ways to be German: romantic, rational, transgressive
  10. He can make you cry photographing an onion. Without cutting it

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