Parallelwelten

SeriellenPharaonenbüstensetzte Isa Genzken eine Sonnenbrille auf, unddarunterwiederholt sich eine übermalte Mona Lisa: Isa Genzkenbei Hauser & Wirth in der Savile Row, London. Foto: (c) Alex Delfanne

Hauser und Wirth thematisiert die Prekariatssituation in der Kunstwelt

Das Auffälligste waren die Security Guards, sie haben ausgeschaut wie Kunstwissenschafts-Studenten, die kein Geld haben und sich ihr Brot mit Wachstunden verdienen müssen. Es ist eine ernstzunehmende Situation in der Kunstwelt – Stichwort unbezahlte Volontariate, Praktika in der Museen- und Galeriewelt. Immer wieder ist davon die Rede, wie hier auf arthistoricum.net. Es ist klar, dass die Politik dafür alleine nicht verantwortlich ist. Sie ja auch nur die Vertretung des Volkes, trägt aber die Verantwortung für den Rest der Gesellschaft. Die Politiker sitzen aber nicht für Unrecht im Parlament und werden entsprechend bezahlt. Entsprechende Gesetzesnovellen, um das System zu verbessern, fehlen. Ein Grundeinkommen wurde unlängst in der Schweiz als Volksabstimmung thematisiert. Es wäre interessant, darüber nachzudenken, in welchen europäischen Ländern oder der Welt davon die Rede ist.

Eine Welt der Ambiguitäten

Genzken’s Austellung in der Londoner Dependance von Hauser & Wirth zeigte Nerfetiti, eine populäre Pharaonin und Göttin. Die Arbeit bezieht sich inhaltlich auf die Berliner Kunstszene und auf die klassische Kunstgeschichte: Hier sind z. B. mehrere Kopien von Richard Avedon, ein Amor von Caravaggio oder eine serielle, wild übermalte Mona Lisa, wobei letztere unter die ebenfalls seriellen Pharaonenbüsten mit Sonnenbrille gestellt ist. Anzunehmen ist eine Anspielung auf touristische Monotonie: Jeder geht nach Ägypten oder in den Louvre, um sich das anzuschauen. Jeder macht Urlaub mit einer Sonnenbrille, während auf der Sinai-Halbinsel kriegsähnliche Zustände herrschen.

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Hauser and Wirth adresses the precarious situation in the art world The most poignant were the security guards: They looked like art students, who didn‘t have money and have to earn their bread as a guard. It’s a serious situation in the art world – note unpaid internships and placements in the world of museums and galleries. Again and again there is talk about this. Unfortunately the responsible polticians do nothing in this matter to improve the situation. Unlike most european countries, a general basic income for everyone has been discussed in Switzerland. The Swiss voted against it. Social inequality seems to be rising throughout Europe.
Critique is one of Lisa’s main art forms. She plays with ambiguities and absurdities. Genzken reached the peak of her career recently with a single exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

A world of ambiguities Genzken‘s exhibition in the London dependance of Hauser & Wirth shows Nerfetiti, a popular pharaon and God. The subject of this work relates to the Berlin art scene and the classical art history: I. e. there are several reproductions of Richard Avedon, an armor of Caravaggio, or a serial produced, wildly over-painted Mona Lisa. The latter one is placed under the pharaon busts with sunglasses. Let’s assume and allusion on touristic monotony. Everyone goes to Egypt or into the Louvre to view this. Everyone goes on holiday with sunglasses, and at the same time the Sinai island is in a war-like state.

Photo on the left: Lisa Genzken and Kunsthalle Wien director Nicolaus Schaffhausen at the exhibition opening “I’m Isa Genzken, The Only Female Fool” © Kunsthalle Wien 2014, Foto: Andrea Fichtel

 

Here is a detailled biography of Isa Genzken.

Isa Genzken at Museum of Modern Art here

Isa Genzken at Kunsthalle Wien here

 

Albertina and Gazprom

Thoughts about the recent events concerning the Albertina exhibition “Dreaming Russia. Works from the Gazprom collection”

The newest exhibition of the Albertina, one of Vienna’s most important art museums, shows the collection of Gazprom bank, that is owned by the well-known oil company to 35-41 percent (1). After the recent events in the arctic sea, where several Greenpeace activists where arrested by Russia, because they protested against off-shore oil drilling by Gazprom, a question arises. Why doesn’t do the director of the art museum Klaus Albrecht Schröder anything to show sympathy with the protesters or blockades exhibiting with Gazprom? Why deals Albertina with an oil company, that acts apparently irresponsible in the face of nature and future generations?

On the other hand, it’s understandable, that Schröder can’t boycott this exhibition so easily. Museums and cultural institutions are always financially on the edge, and an exhibition is usually planned four to five years ahead.

One of the artists, who was planned to be exhibited there, withdrew his works from the exhibition, as a protest against the Gazprom activities in the arctic sea. Calvert Journal cites him: “I join the voices of intelligent people all over the planet in asking for an end to the prosecution of Greenpeace activists who acted in defence of the Arctic.”

According to the austrian daily newspaper “derstandard.at” Greenpeace activists were protesting at the day of the exhibition opening at 11th of October. Critique for the cooperation of Albertina director Klaus Albrecht Schröder with Gazprom was also heard by the Austrian’s Green party.

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Leonid Tishkov, “Every morning he buries the moon”, 2003/2005. From the series “Private moon”, C-print on photo paper. Image: artleaks.org, with permission by the artist

 

Calvert Journal: http://calvertjournal.com/news/show/1591/artist-leonid-tishkov-protests-gazprom

Leonid Thiskov’s blog: http://leonid-tishkov.blogspot.co.at 

The “Private Moon” series by Leonid Tishkov: http://plentyofcolour.com/2013/01/16/private-moon-in-black-white/

(1) According to derstandard.at Gazprom ownes 35 percent of Gazprom bank. Wikipedia says it’s 41 percent.

Gunter Damisch: “Makro Mikro”

Der 55-jährige Oberösterreicher und Wiener Akademie Professor hatte in der Albertina heuer seine große Retrospektive.

55-year old Upper-Austrian and professor of the academy of Fine Arts had his great retrospective this summer in the Albertina Museum Vienna. 

Collagen scheinen ein Trend in der derzeitigen Kunstszene zu sein. Auch zu Gunter Damisch’s technischen Oevre gehören sie. In der großen Albertina Retrospektive sind Ausschnitte aus Zeitungen und Holzschnitten in die großformatige Bildfläche eingebracht und übermalt. So wie wir als Kinder Masken hergestellt haben, sind sie mit Kleister übermalt.

Serielle Wiederholungen sind seit Warhol’s Zeiten in der Kunst nicht wegzudenken. (Im Gegensatz jedoch zum Vorteil des Computers, mittels Copy und Paste automatisiert zu vervielfältigen). So finden sich immer die gleichen Arten von Strukturen: wie Ameisen, Rippen aussehend, Profile von Reifen – oder: Mikroorganismen. Diese zeigen eine Art von Transparenz und finden sich in verschiedenen Farbkompositionen wieder. Interessant ist die unendliche Vielfalt von Abwandlungen, die Damisch in einem so begrenzten Rahmen herstellt: In der Betonung der Bildfläche (oben – unten), oder in Kontrasten, wie man sie von der alten Film-Fotografie her kennt (positiv-negativ). Makro-Mikro: der Titel verweist einerseits auf mikroskopartig kleine Strukturen, wie der Mensch sie nicht mit bloßem Auge sehen kann, oder der makroartigen Vergrößerung von kleinen Motiven, die Fotografen künstlerisch und publizistisch erfahrbahr machen und in unsere Welt zurückholen.

Diese Ausstellung war bis 22. September in der Albertina zu sehen. Siehe: http://www.albertina.at

Alle Abbildungen (c) Gunter Damisch, Fotos: Günter König, Pressematerial von der Albertina Website

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Works in collages seem to be a trend in the current art world. They belong also to Gunter Damisch’s technical oevre. Into the large format canvas put I see cuttings from newspapers and engravings, that are partly covered with paint. Like we created masks in childhood, they are repainted with paste.

One cannot dismiss seriality in the arts since Warhol (in contrast to one of the biggest advantages of computers, to replicate with Copy and Paste automatically). In Damisch’s collages, there are always the same kinds of structures: like ants, ribs, profiles of tyres, or: microorganisms. They show a kind of transparency and reappear in different colour compositions. Interesting the infinite variety of modifications, that Damisch produces in such a confined frame: Emphasising the picture plane (above – under), or working with contrasts, similar to positive-negative film photography. Makro Mikro: The title refers to microscopic small structures, that human beings cannot see with mere eyes, and, on the other hand, to macroscopic enlargements of small motivs, that photographers make comprehensible artistically and journalistically, and bring it back to our world. One could interpret these abstractions in many aspects: Sociologically, geographically, geologically, mineralogically, just to name a few. To show the world in different aspects was always his aim: “Die Aufhebung der Eindeutigkeit ist mir wichtig, das Sowohl-als-auch, die Herstellung von Vieldeutigkeit”.

http://www.gunter-damisch.at

On view until 23rd of February also at Landesgalerie St. Pölten

Saul Leiter in der Hackel Bury Gallery / Saul Leiter at Hackel Bury Gallery

Nicht unschwer zu finden war die Information, dass Saul Leiter eine Ausstellung in der Londoner Galerie Hackel Bury hatte. Beim erstmaligen Besuch folgte dann aber die Enttäuschung, als an besagtem Ort nach längerem Weg von der Station High Street Kensington nur fünf Fotos von Saul Leiter zu sehen waren. Das Hauptaugenmerk der Galeristen lag dagegen auf seinen Malereien. Das ist verständlich, da Saul Leiter von seiner Ausbildung her aus der Malerei kam. Die Bilder sind abstrakt, und es finden sich nur Andeutungen von Figuren oder Landschaften.

Die Galerie Hackel Bury ist sehr klein, und liegt am äußerst pittoresken, mit Blumen beschmückten Launceston Place im reichen Stadtteil Knightsbridge/South Kensington. Hier leben eher luxuriöse und äußerst vermögende Londoner (erklärbar durch die Nähe zu Chelsea), die aber einen ausgeprägten Kunstsinn haben. Das Royal College of Art ist nicht weit entfernt, und gleichzeitig sind viele Kunstgewerbe wie Goldschmiede anzutreffen, denen man, falls warmes Wetter ist, bei offener Tür bei der Arbeit zuschauen kann. Die Architektur ist sehr oft in purem Weiß, und entstand im Zuge der Bebauung in der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jh., nach er Errichtung des Kristallpalastes im Hyde Park.

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It was quite easy, to find the information about Saul Leiter’s exhibition at the London gallery Hackel Bury Fin.  Arriving there, I was disappointed. After long walk from High Street Kensington I could see just five photos of Saul Leiter. The art dealer’s main focus was on the paintings by Saul Leiter. To say reasonably, because Saul Leiter was painter by education. The paintings are abstract, and there are just hints of figures or landscapes to see.

The Hackel Bury Gallery is very small, and lies on a very picturesque, with flowers decorated Launceston Place in the rich district Knightsbridge/South Kensington. Here, more luxurious and very wealthy Londoners are living (explainable through the closeness to Chelsea), who have a distinctive sense for art. The Royal College of Art is close by, and at the same time you find many arts and craft shops, like goldsmiths. When the weather is pleasant warm, you can observe them at their work while they’re having their door open. The architecture is often in pure white, and originates in the city developments of the second half of the 19th century, after the construction of the crystal palace in Hyde Park.

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Abb. oben: Stadtteil Knightsbridge/South Kensington. (c) Johannes Deutsch

Above: District Knightsbridge/South Kensington. (c) Johannes Deutsch

Abb. unten: Saul Leiter, New York , “Snow”, 1960 (li.) und “Canopy”, 1958 (re.). Die Ausstellung zeigte nur wenige Fotografien. Eine der berühmtesten Farbfotografien wie “Snow” war gar nicht zu sehen, aber umso mehr Wand gaben die Kuratoren Leiters Malerei. “Snow” ist wie alle anderen Fotografien als C-Print erhältlich, preislich beginnend bei 3700 Pfund. 

Below: Saul Leiter, “Snow”, New York 1960 (left), and “Canopy”, 1958 (right). The exhibition showed just a few photographs. The gallery didn’t show one of the most famous colour photographs like “Snow”, but instead they focused on Leiter’s paintings. “Snow” is like the every other photographs for sale as C-print, starting with 3700 pounds. 

Die Ausstellung war bis 27. Juli 2013 zu sehen. / The exhibition was on view until 27 July 2013.

(c) Fotografien von Saul Leiter / Photographs by Saul Leiter: www.jacksonfineart.com

Galerie und Information / Gallery and information: www.hackelbury.co.uk

Man Ray, the photographer of Montparnasse

Exhibition Review of “Man Ray Portraits” in the National Portrait Gallery, London

In a time when politics became like the feudalist and absolutist dictatorships before the French Revolution, the Surrealists tried to fight against society’s decline and banality. “Freedom from all conformity” declared both Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray. They were successful in inventing a new aesthetic and their motto was that “provocation can generate salvation” instead of scandal, in a time when it was rare to disobey dictatorship.

One word that was heard on the streets of that days increasingly was “revolution”. The exhibited works in the National Portrait Gallery are contrasting against that philosophy and artistic spirit, as they exhibit photographs that flatter. They are beautiful and representational portraits of the famous in the arts: Man Ray photographed almost every famous modern artist that we know today; sulptors like Jean Arp and Constantin Brancusi, painters like Georges Braque, Salvador Dali and Picasso, fashion designer Coco Chanel, film makers, writers and performers.

Man Ray got very soon in touch with the most important intellectuals of that time, such as Louis Aragon, André Breton, Paul Éluard and Tristan Tzara.

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Joan Miró by Man Ray, 1930s Paris

Though not all portraits were conventional: They were representational, but in the very sense of the word, in the extreme: He depicted Miro with a rope in the background, that Max Ernst used in his attempt to hang the Catalan painter. Fascinating about it is, that through Miro’s gaze and the setting of the picture, the viewer is inclined to interpret it as a serious, official representation. The surrealist were too good in their ability, to create legends about themselves.

Another portrait shows Yves Tanguy with erected hairs, and Montparnasse artists who weren’t photogenic at all, like Maurice d’Vlaminck.

Man Ray’s portraits were subsequently published in Harper’s Bazaar, Time Magazine, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Vu, the french picture magazine that existed just until 1940.

Man Ray had a high affinity for young women and he photographed a lot of nudes. Kiki, Meret, Nusch, Natasha, and many others, to whom Juliet would be added in later years.

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Man Ray, Violin d’Ingres, 1924, Paris, Centre Pompidou

Probably the most important for him was Kiki, who is also known through the famous “Violin d’Ingres” (see Ill.) She is seen from the back and weares an orientalistic turban, that reminds on Ingres’ “Turkish Bath” of the Louvre. Characteristical are the f-holes that Man Ray applied later in post processing, a technique, that he used as well for other portraits.

Kiki de Montparnasse’s real name was Alice Ernestine Prin. She was born into a very poor family and had never known her father, and was even set out by her mother. She had never loving parents, thus was “a primitive creature”, but very talented. As a young women she modelled for all the famous painters in Paris’ glory 20s. She had high aspirations, sang in the nightclubs and was called the “Queen of Montparnasse”, even if this role was just her surface. Her true life was that of a lover and muse of Man Ray. He always celebrated and loved women, but at the same time transfigured them to something else. In literature and research after her life Kiki became a symbol of this time and a legend. Kiki was sensuality and eroticism for Man Ray, even more than that: Sometimes an obscene object in his pictures, a fashion, where Louis Aragon was also part of and contributed his texts. Mixed up with the mythicism of Montparnasse, it was transgression: Kiki was also “a white ivory statue crafted by Pygmalion, a bacchante”… (further information in the exhibition catalogue of Guido Comis and Marco Franciolli for the Museo d’Arte, Lugano).

The Surrealists admired Ingres. The most famous proponent is probably Picasso, who’s surrealist phase was strongly comprehended to his classicist phase.

Cahiers d’ Art published Man Ray’s photographs in 1934 and Minotaure his text, with Picasso making a drawing of Man Ray.

Illustration by prometheus bildarchiv. The exhibition was open until 27th of May 2013 in the National Portrait Gallery

Heidi Specker and the Leipzig photography school

In the recent exhibitions of the Brancolini Grimaldi gallery in London the teachers of the famous university of graphics and book art in Leipzig where shown. At the present, Joachim Brohm has a single show, while Heidi Specker has been on view before.

It’s worth to throw a glance on their work, as the school is one of the most appraised universities in Europe for (documentary) photography. Both Martin Parr and Mark Power agree with that, as the author’s consultation has brought to light.

Heidi Specker has published several books: “Im Garten”, “Bangkok”, about Mies van der Rohe’s “Haus Lemke” near Berlin, as well as about a villa by Peter Behrens. Her photographs are always about structures and their elements in a picture of suspense. She compares nature and architecture and lets them make a transition to each other.

Specker got known for her photographs of surface structures on 60s and 70s architecture, which she transfered into abstract compositions and reworked on the computer. This was 1996, as she won the European Photography Prize, at a time, when digital photography was not very common and editing them on the computer very difficult.

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Ill.: “Speckergruppen” 

In these pictures the ambiente of techno clubs in the shape of Eastern Germany architectural remnants came to light. It was an electronic image because the world was getting more and more electronic, she said in the interview inside the book.

In a book about Mies van der Rohe’s house Lemke, she follows her first project. Twelve years after it, the new technology (digital photography) is much more developed, which suites to a “nuanced building” like one of Mies van der Rohe. The opacness of light turns into the open inner sphere of the house, surrounded by the materiality of the bricks. Their earthy tones are contrasted by the non-colour of the windows. Ronald Berg writes in an essay, that like Mies van der Rohe, Heidi Specker was very meticulous. She worked for days, just to get the right proportions of forms and patterns.

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Ill.: Haus Lemke by Mies van der Rohe, photographed by Heidi Specker

In the exhibition there’s also a series of architecture views shown. These are pictures with a floor clock and it is photographed from different positions. It just shows always the same time, namely twelve o’clock on the dot.

In another series, she photographs stone walls like still lifes, and translates them into a raster. She varies them each time and uses light and shadow for the photographic effect. Since the photographs are purely black and white prints, the question remains, in what extent one can speak of an effect.

Her pictures are always tectonically and geometrically very strong composed. Specker always workes with photographic techniques of exposure, lightning, blurring, sharpness, and framing. It would be good to see more of her outside Germany.

For informations about exhibitions at Brancolini Grimaldi see http://www.brancolinigrimaldi.com/

All images from www.heidispecker.de

Kunstgeschichte als Pop-Romantik: Lichtenstein in der Tate

Die Ausstellung “Lichtenstein. A Retrospective” war von 21. Februar bis 27. Mai 2013 in der Tate Modern zu sehen.

Mit seinen Bendai dots, den fetten Outlines und Primärfarbflächen begründete Roy Lichtenstein die Pop Art, nachdem er eine Kehrtwende vom Abstrakten Expressionismus genommen hatte. Die Technik blieb großteils traditionell und war meistens Öl auf Leinwand. Er experimentierte aber auch mit Magma und Plexiglas, und versuchte sich als Objektkünstler. So sind in der Ausstellung auch Konstruktionen aus Messingstäben zu sehen, worauf Spiegel montiert sind, in die der Betrachter blicken kann.

Lichtenstein’s Bezug zur Kunstgeschichte ist vielfältig: So wie schon Monet, aber mit der ihm eigenen Technik, malte er die Kathedrale zu Rouen, und das mit verschieden farbigen dots, anstelle unterschiedlicher Lichtsituationen. Unter seinen banalen, auf die Massenmedien bezogenen Sujets, befindet sich auch ein Porträt von George Washington. Auch das Thema der “Femme d’Alger”, von Eugène Delacroix 1834 gemalt und von Picasso später wiederholt, hat Lichtenstein auf seine Weise interpretiert. Die Moderne beschäftigte ihn in Zeichnungen, die ähnlich wie die kristallinen Aufsplitterungen des Kubismus konstruiert sind. “Reflection” heißt ein anderes Bild: er zersplittert die Bildfläche in ungleiche Teile, wobei er nicht Zusammenhängendes in einem Bild vereint. Unter den zahlreichen kunsthistorischen Rückbezügen ist auch Laokoon zu entdecken, wie er gegen die Schlangen ankämpft.

Lichtenstein malte sein Künstlerstudio und betitelte es mit “Artist Studio – The Dance”. Es ist wörtlich zu verstehen: Nackte Frauen tanzen inmitten der Malerleinwände und führen ein bacchanales Leben. Im Ausstellungs-Narrativ führt das schließlich zum Selbstporträt. Lichtenstein besteht aus einem T-Shirt und einem Kopf, der ein viereckiges Raster ist. Faszinierend dabei ist, dass er kontinuierlich durch sein Oevre hindurch eine andere, alternative Kunstgeschichte zur Schau stellt. Eine langgestreckte Bildtafel mit dem Namen “Entablature” erinnert dabei an das letzte Abendmahl. Im Gegensatz dazu bleibt dieser Tisch minimalistisch leer. Viele der Bilder sind eher naive Witze auf dem “Kultur”-Niveau des Pop. Zum Ende der Ausstellung hin vereinfachen sich die Titel: Sozusagen gibt es wörtlich und bildlich nur mehr Unterschiede zwischen “Perfect” und “Imperfect Painting”.

Ein Gemälde trägt den Namen “Blue Nude”, obwohl sich knallbunte Farben gegenüberstehen und kontrastieren. Lichtenstein verwendet wie meistens sehr poppige Farben, und allein aus diesen ist keine Wertigkeit oder Hierarchie zu ersehen und zu entdecken, was gemeint ist, nämlich die “Blue Nude”. Diese nicht-hierarchische Malweise bezieht sich auf Piet Mondrian, und ist Schönbergs atonaler und serieller Musik ähnlich (nachzulesen in Yves-Alain Bois, Painting as Model, ‘The DeStijl Idea’, Cambridge, Mass. 1990).

Lichtenstein blieb, seltsamerweise, auch gegen Ende seines Lebens hin, der Romantik der 60er-Jahre treu. Nämlich, dass er Bilder, die er später 1995 malte, dennoch mit Gesichtern aus der Werbung der 60er ausstattete.

Roy Lichtenstein fotografiert von Thomas Hoepker, Magnum, 1982 in seinem Studio in New York Southampton

Thomas Hoepker Portfolio: http://www.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3=CMS3&VF=MAGO31_10_VForm&ERID=24KL5351FG

Daido Moriyama and William Klein at the Tate

The exhibition seems to be seperated into two parts: One part ist about Daido Moriyama and another about William Klein. It’s not really visible, that the two parts are connected. Therefore arises the question, why then it’s one single exhibiton?

William Klein

William Klein studied at the Sorbonne in Paris after he grew up in New York. He was taught originally in painting by the famous abstract painter Fernand Léger.

Another famous person of that time was attentive to his film work and very captive of critizising it: American regisseur Orson Welles. Although Klein created work in a variety of disciplines, but, where he was most impressive and got known for, was photography.

Paris, Tokyo, New York, Moscow, Rome. William Klein seemed to have been in every big and important city of his time. He roamed the street photographing continuously, opening up parallels to Magnum photography, mostly in compositional terms. These “snapshots” were documentary, momentary and not set up. His black and white frames with faces and sceneries were often cut in a cool sense. He did also several paintings with Fernand Léger as an important inspirer. In the exhibition are also quite abstract negatives and photograms included, and films about dances and gatherings in Chad, the Kameron and at the 1968 student protests. Another series is dedicated to Mondrian and his native country Holland. Léger said to Klein, he should concentrate on the relationship between art and architecture.

A connection exists also to Chris Marker. He published William Klein’s book about New York: “Life is Good and Good for you in New York” (see http://www.americansuburbx.com/2011/02/william-klein-life-is-good-good-for-you.html).

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Tokyo and Rome were also more about patterns in street photography than fashion itself, for which is Klein mainly known for. In Tokyo 1961 he worked intensively with the light of the nights to gain contrasts of deep dark blacks as well as with the lights of shop logos and on the street. He also photographed bizarre performance-like street theaters, that are compared in the exhibition to a painting, which is archived through boxing on a wall. This wall is covered with canvas and the pictures show half naked men with freezed expressions.

The street photographs of New York tell us of a different way of photographing. Klein is somehow commited to the people around him in the street not as today, as everyone rushes through the street seemingly without connection or communication to the other people, who surround him/her. He also shows a lot of movement through blurrings and creates still a pattern with these different compositional items.

Daido Moriyama

Moriyama had a fascination with Shinjuku, a district of Tokio. He continued to photograph it from the 60s until today. In the beginning Daido was associated with the magazine “Provoke” and had also a fascination with consumerism and its seriality, in admiration for Andy Warhol.

The basic concept of the magazine “Provoke” was: “The world and reality are not only what they seem to be at first (a priori)”, because the human functions always the same way: It reduces the things it sees to its mere meaning. Around these issues the subjects of Daido were moving.

Like Andy Warhol Daido photographed Campbell’s soup cans. He saw the same products of Warhol, also “Brillo”-boxes, just with a japanese label. Also car crashes fascinated him, resulting in Gelatin silver prints on paper. They are very high contrast and have an outcome like a silkscreen print. In general, the picture style of Daido is very different from western photography.

All photographs are build with a strong visual scheme or on an arrangement of visual elements. Some of the photographs also remind me of high standard photojournalism. Moriyama’s basic philosophy was about exploration of the limits of photography: “Perhaps the authority of the failed negative, with all its inherent possibility, could be restored”. Daido said in the showed film, that he doesn’t throw away failed negatives. “It’s also part of reality”.

He also photographed still life objects and nature. It’s as much about the objects as it is about the interplay between light and shadow, that gives these objects structure. More then, light imprignates those objects and makes something different, magical out of them. They make the actual photograph, and not the object itself.

One of Moriyama’s central themes was to make a “reflection between the photographic image and the real world.”

Daido shoots in the street with a compact camera. It’s the pure form of snapshot photography.

Filippo Maggia compares Daido Moriyama’s working method with the protagonists of the literature of the Beat generation, like the theme of “roaming”, “wandering endlessly” through the streets, where “images and reality are the same thing”. Daido explains: “(…) recounting the streets and the people who animate them and bring them alive, in narrating reality. But the story is mine: it is not a news camera that is recording what is happening out there, but Daido telling you about the road he is following.” For him, photography is a means of recording what he experiences in the life, in “a particular moment”.

(Quote from Daido Moriyama, The World through My eyes, Milano 2010, Skira Editore s. p. a., p. 12)

Finally, there can be seen a connection between Moriyama and Klein. Latter photographed also in Japan, and to quote Vicki Goldberg from an article in The New York Times on Oct 3 1999: “Moriyama was shocked and influenced by William Klein’s book of photographs of New York (published 1957), with its raw vitality and confrontation, grotesqueries of the street and fierce disregard for technique.”