Prof. Harald Mante is sharing his thoughts on picture series during the opening of the exibition.
»A picture series can contain a number of strong images that become stronger within the group of others. The photograph itself must not be exceptionel but the series could be. You have to manage to get good photographs to put together and you have to manage the design task to put them into one frame in an interesting and aesthetic way. As a spectator you can look at the series as a whole and moving foreward you can study the elements.« This I took as a summary of what photographer Prof. Harald Mante (author of the book Die Fotoserie respectively Serial Photography) said in his speech about picture series. He introduced 126 picture series from 43 amateur photographers who study in the Altenakademie (academy for the elderly people), a nonprofit educational institution in Dortmund. Every week they have one task to do and their best picture series are shown from February 10th to March 7th 2013 in the Hansesaal in Luenen in the exibiton named »The Picture Series«. If you want to watch the exibition in the evening there are additional oportunities.
We met on the streets of Bastia. His companion did not want to be photographed and I was happy because he agreed. After showing some poses he looked to his companion and I was lucky with the result.
While my project on Corsica I wanted to photograph people to not only show the cityscapes and landscapes I explore. I went up to it as a training to establish contacts to complete stranges and to try to capture their portraits. This slideshow presents my outcome. If it does´t start klick the photograph.
The players of the petanque game build teams and play for about one hours to fetch the twelve points to win.
To play petanque at this level this men do you need to practice a lot. Some are able to hit another boule 8 to 10 meter away with a success rate of 90%. This sport does require a good eye, beeing focussed and super relaxed.
I captured this moments at a sunny afternoon in Bastia, Corse. I stayed at the field for more than an hour to study the petanque game and the highly developed skills of the participants. Before doing that I asked for permission to stay there and make photographs. I tried to not get in the way and was permitted to stay. See the slideshow with my outcome. If the slideshow does not start klick the photograph.
The New York photographs are very interesting for me because of the light and the subject. They seem a little bit surreal. The Brooklin Bridge is my favorite followed closely by the East River III. It is a pleasure to see the photographs in big format instead of merely in an online-presentation.
There were a lot of interesting works of art – sculptures, paintings, photographs – that aroused my interest. But …
what I want to do is to write about context. The backdrop, the halls, the walls, the light all those elements build the context that a work of art is perceived. In addition there are the spatial sound, the voices, the smell of the building and the visitors. Not to forget the question whether the artist or the gallery owner leave you in silence or try to sell you something. In the photo above there is a situation where I only stopped by to make the photograph of a completely failed presentation because of the lights blinding me.
My favorite space was the showroom of the ART-isotope Gallery Axel Schoeber you can see in the photo below. Axel Schoeber created a context for the work of the artists Sónia Aniceto, Eberhard Bitter, Andrea Kraft, Georg Meissner that was pleasant to be in and was giving space to the work to appear. He and the artists were cautious and were waiting for questions instead of asking themselves. So I could perceive my way and I loved it.
Showroom of the ART-isotope Gallery Axel Schoeber, Dortmund, Germany
The train guard authorizes the departure (Jens Stachowitz)
“To go on a cruise with an ancient railbus“ was the childhood dream of Stefan Tigges. He incorporated the Ruhrtalbahn in 2004 and extends his offerings from year to year. At the last weekend in April 2012 he launched his Schienenkreuzfahrt (cruise) trough the Ruhr Area. I had the opportunity to join this event and enjoyed it! Because of the not so much convenient ancient railbus it was a little adventure. I experienced how it felt and looked like to travel in the sixties of the twentieth century and thought back to my own childhood. But I felt no nostalgia, I sensed how convenient we use to travel nowadays. During the cruise we passed a lot of places that are milestones in the history of this region, letting us know and imagine what developments we have begotten or undergone. Due to a very well-informed guide there were a lot of bits of new information I could gather although I live in this region for half a century. I recommend joining the tour.
I don´t know how you manage to get through the winter. My experience so far is that there is almost no frost, snow and almost no sunshine since the middle of November here in the Ruhr Area. There were two days in January with the temperature falling below zero. One of them I could use for a photo tour and came home with the photograph above. I am happy with having been able to use this rare moment when the sun was below the horizon and temperature was below zero too.
Inspired by the toy »Slinky« the German artist Tobias Rehberger, a border crosser between design, art and architecture, designed a pedestrian bridge in the form of a spiral with 496 arches made of Aluminium and illuminated in the night. Its official name is »Slinky Springs to Fame« but in colloquial speech it is named »Rehberger-Brücke« due to its inventor. The bridge spans the Rhine-Herne Canal in Oberhausen, Germany, connecting two public gardens, the Kaisergarten from the late 19th century and the Volksgarten from the early 20th century and is a replacement for a bridge that got destroyed in World War II. This place is not far from the Gasometer, a landmark for the whole Ruhr-Area.
The construction of the bridge is held by two ribbons made of high strength steel, the lightest of all possible constructions, and was developed by Schlaich, Bergermann & Partner. The elegant, light and vibrant bridge is part of the Emscherkunst – An Island for the Arts-Project and was build by the Emschergenosenschaft with subsidization by the European Union and the state North Rhine-Westphalia. It is a sculpture and an emblem in the geographic center of Oberhausen, a town compound of three little towns since 1929.
»What fails is our apprehension of our incredible amasing and beautiful world.« is the statement of Joel Sternfeld that resonates most within me. First of all I have to say that I am trying to understand which message Joel Sternfeld wants to tell the readers of his photographs, books and the listeners of his lectures. I am not quite shure that I have got »it«. What makes me unsecure is a photograph I did not like at a first sight and that I did not read careful enough. The icing on the cake is as small as a stamp in this large-format photograph: A baby that suckles at the breast of his mother who is sitting on a couch that was taken out of a moving van in front of a new building somewhere at the city limits close to the woods. Someone else pointed to this culmination of this photographic short story I did not apprehend. So I have to say that it may be true that I am a very well trained to read situations and relationships what is essential to do my work as a facilitator, but I have to educate my perception of pictures and photographs.
It appears to me that Joel Sternfeld is a very self-efficiating contemporary, a humorous and amicable storyteller. He is concerned about doing great work, getting on a higer level of perception, telling something well-founded about our world and our society wanting to improve it, saving our incredible amasing and beautiful world from unpleasant acts mankind could and does do. He tells us »what we do with the surface of the earth tells us who we are« in this video, but he is not at all a itinerant preacher. He is not at the frontline either like a war photographer risking his live in order to shock and push us. Sternfeld is looking for subtle undertones that touch our souls and Sternfeld is creating photographs we want to look at more than one time, those that do not disgust but pull us in.
Joel Sternfeld is concerned about relationships of humans to each other, humans to nature and colors to each other. His eyes light up when speaking about color shades in his photographs. Yes, he is concerned not only about the story in the photograph and the story behind the photograph but also about the composition and the color. Some of Joel Sternfeld´s photographs are shown online by Luhring Augustine.
Museum Folkwang exibits different series of photographs Sternfeld created starting from 1970 till nowadays. Very much I do recomend to visit the exhibition in Essen, Germany till Oct., 23rd 2011, then touring to Amsterdam, Berlin and Vienna.
And: look carefully. – Thank you, Joel for your teaching!