Posts Tagged ‘german

31
Mar
09

Book: publication of ‘Jpegs: Photographs by Thomas Ruff’ from Aperture Foundation

March 2009

 

Thomas Ruff. 'jpeg sh01' 2005

 

Thomas Ruff
jpeg sh01
2005
C-print
© Thomas Ruff

 

 

I greatly admire this series of work. It takes a very special artist and a very special person to look at the world – and specifically how the world is represented and presented to us in scrappy, low quality jpgs – and recognise a different perspective, an alternate reality that is staring us in the face, that is confronting us every single day. No body but Ruff did.

Great artists are always ahead of their time, always probing beyond, offering up a mirror to an inchoate, uninformed society. Robert Frank did it with The Americans in the 1950s, and the Americans didn’t like what they were being shown by an outsider, a foreigner. Lee Friedlander did it in the 1970s with his segmented images and reflections, his informality and perspicacity. Now Ruff abstracts an already abstracted and distracted world, a world flooded with meaningless images. He makes giant the landscape, war, eruption, disruption and destruction until when we approach too close… the image dissolves before our eyes. Into nothingness. We retreat in confusion.

He is aware, while so many of us are unaware. He is fully conscious and observant of the processes and effects of contemporary digital photography. And yet. And yet, these fractured images approach the sublime in some mysterious way.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Thomas Ruff. 'jpeg ca02' 2004

 

Thomas Ruff
jpeg ca02
2004
C-print
© Thomas Ruff

 

 

“How much visual information is needed for image recognition? A pretty small quantity of data will go a long way for the brain and the computer, both of which take shortcuts for the sake of speedy comprehension. In the Jpegs series, German photographer Thomas Ruff exploits this imprecision in digital technology, locating online jpegs and enlarging them until the pixels emerge in a chessboard pattern of near abstraction. A closer look at these images reveals that, in addition to the degeneration of the image into a digital grid, the colour and brightness generated by the algorithms of the compression also become visible. Many of Ruff’s works in this series focus on idyllic, seemingly untouched landscapes, or conversely, on scenes of war and nature disturbed by human manipulation – subjects ill suited to disruptive pixelation, and therefore perfect for Ruff’s purposes. Taken together, these images constitute an encyclopaedic compendium of contemporary visual culture that also engages the history of landscape painting. A fittingly deluxe and oversize volume, Jpegs is the first monograph dedicated exclusively to this monumental series.”

Text from the Amazon website

 

Thomas Ruff. 'jpeg cdf01' 2004

 

Thomas Ruff
jpeg cdf01
2004
C-print
69 5/8 x 87 ¾ in. (177 x 223 cm.)
© Thomas Ruff

 

Thomas Ruff. 'jpeg bb03' 2007

 

Thomas Ruff
jpeg bb03
2007
C-print
72 7/8 x 98 1/4 in. (185.1 x 249.56 cm)
© Thomas Ruff

 

Thomas Ruff. 'jpeg ny02' 2004

 

Thomas Ruff
jpeg ny02
2004
C-print
© Thomas Ruff

 

 

Thomas Ruff is among the most important international photographers to emerge in the last fifteen years, and one of the most enigmatic and prolific of Bernd and Hilla Becher’s former students, a group that includes Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Candida Höfer, and Axel Hutte. In 2007, Ruff completed his monumental and very timely Jpegs series in which he explores the distribution and reception of images in the digital age. Starting with images he culls primarily from the Web, Ruff enlarges them to a gigantic scale, which exaggerates the pixel patterns, until they become sublime geometric displays of colour. A fittingly deluxe and oversized volume, Jpegs (Aperture, June 2009) is the first monograph dedicated exclusively to the publication of Ruff’s remarkable series.

When viewed up close the images in Jpegs look abstract; as you move away they merge into decipherable photographic images. Like Impressionistic paintings, Ruff’s photographs require the viewer’s active participation and shift in perspective in order to make a complete assessment of the image content. The work ranges from idyllic, seemingly untouched landscapes and popular tourist spots, to scenes of war and nature disturbed by human manipulation. Places and global events that have defined the visual media world of recent decades are represented, including the familiar, almost iconic pictures of atomic bomb tests; 9/11; scenes of warfare in Baghdad, Beirut, and Grozny; the killing fields of Cambodia; and the ravaged Asian coasts after the 2004 tsunami, among others. Taken together, these masterworks create an encyclopaedic compendium of contemporary visual culture that also actively engages the history of landscape painting. Jpegs is a testament to the effects of the digital age on the medium of photography.

Text from Artdaily.org website

 

jpeg-soi01-2005

 

Thomas Ruff
jpeg soi01
2005
C-print
© Thomas Ruff

 

Thomas Ruff. 'jpeg msh01' 2004

 

Thomas Ruff
jpeg msh01
2004
C-print
© Thomas Ruff

 

Thomas Ruff. 'jpeg ny01' 2004

 

Thomas Ruff
jpeg ny01
2004
C-print
276 × 188 cm
© Thomas Ruff

 

 

Book available from the Amazon website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top

14
Jan
09

Review: ‘Bettina Speckner’ jewellery at Gallery Funaki, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 13th January – 7th February 2009

Opening: Tuesday 13th January 2009

 

Bettina Speckner.

 

 

“I never work with the intention to decorate things or to make them look prettier. I try to discover the soul of an object or the essence of a photograph – I want to shape something new which appeals to me and to other people far beyond the optical appearance.”

Bettina Speckner

 

Bettina Speckner opening crowd at Gallery Funaki, Melbourne

 

Bettina Speckner opening crowd at Gallery Funaki, Melbourne

 

 

A very social crowd was in attendance for the opening of an exhibition by German jeweller Bettina Speckner at Gallery Funaki in Melbourne. The jewellery was certainly ravishingly made: refined, beautiful and with an elegance to most of the pieces. Interspersed between the jewellery were colour photographs of about A4 size that featured empty chairs, red benches, huts in the landscape and plants. These photographs seemed to have a very loose association to the form and imagery of the jewellery and were very minor photographs. I was not sure of their actual relevance to the pieces themselves.

Speckner uses a lot of imagery in her jewellery – tintype portraits from the Victorian era, grey etched images of gardens and vases studded with jewels and crystalline forms that have an almost solarised graphite feel to them and flowers, statues, pillars and cows etched into enamel. In these sites of intervention she seeks to make new worlds – inner/outer worlds that e-merge out of the material / worlds that are present and have ‘presence’.

The best work combines enamel, intaglio, jewels and photographic processes together. The art transcends the materials of each and coalesces in objects that transport the viewer – forming other associations, new insights into the condition of the object.

As the artist sees, this is not so much about the memories, cultural significance and semiotics embedded in the photograph but about making something new. For me this is where the problems lies.

Is it inevitable that there is a history and association present with these images or is the viewer culturally able to see them as new objects – in a postmodern sense?

It is almost as though Speckner does want these associations present between the jewellery and the images, why else put the colour photographs between the jewellery – or is this another example of her dissociative technique coming into play. Speckner seems to have purchased the memory of the object (which it still holds) but then wants to completely overwrite it – is this possible?

Personally I don’t think this is fully possible. While no ‘grand narrative’ is present in some of these images (some images seem to be so removed from their context that we will never be able to place them again) in other pieces the images overpower the art. The ‘trace’ of memory and identity, an entity for a split second before a camera, their unique state in this singular tintype, their actual presence and life not so easily destroyed!

When an artist seeks to justify work without fully understanding the cultural implications of the use of such images, even saying she seeks to find the soul of an object when the soul may already exist in another form, then in my eyes the work is unresolved, the vision uneven. Despite the beauty of the art, its refinement and great craftmanship there is something lacking at the heart of these works – perhaps a deeper understanding that the soul can reside in optical appearance, that less may be more and that transcendence is more than skin deep.

Dr Marcus Bunyan for Art Blart

 

Bettina Speckner.

 

Bettina Speckner.

 

Bettina Speckner.

 

Bettina Speckner.

 

 

Gallery Funaki
4 Crossley St.,
Melbourne 3000
03 9662 9446

Opening hours:
Tues-Friday 11 – 5pm
Sat 11 – 4pm

Gallery Funaki website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top

27
Nov
08

Europeana: connecting cultural heritage – digital paintings, books, films and archives

November 2008

 

europeana_launch

 

 

Europeana – the European digital library, museum and archive – is a project that began in July 2007. The website gives users direct access to some 2 million digital objects, including film material, photos, paintings, sounds, maps, manuscripts, books, newspapers and archival papers.

The digital content will be selected from that which is already digitised and available in Europe’s museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections. The website aims to have representative content from all four of these cultural heritage domains, and also to have a broad range of content from across Europe. The interface will be multilingual. Initially, this may mean that it is available in French, English and German, but the intention is to develop the number of languages available following the launch.”

 

 

Europeana collections website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top

25
Nov
08

Opening: ‘Andreas Gursky’ at the National Gallery of Victoria International, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 21st November 2008 – 22nd February 2009

Opening: Thursday 21st November 2008

 

Andreas Gursky banner at NGV International exhibition, Melbourne

 

Andreas Gursky banner at NGV International exhibition, Melbourne

 

 

A large but plain crowd assembled for the opening of the first exhibition by world renowned German photographer Andreas Gursky at the National Gallery of Victoria in St Kilda Road, Melbourne. After some lively conversation with friends and following the opening speeches we wandered into a large clean gallery space with minimal design elements. The use of space within the gallery allowed the work to speak for itself. It is a minimal hang and the exhibition works all the better for this.

As for the work itself 21 large photographs are presented ranging from landscapes to buildings, race tracks to formula 1 pits, Madonna concerts to the Tour de France. Most work successfully in building a hyperreal vision of the world. We are not sure what is ‘real’ or hyperreal, what is a straight photograph or what has been digitally manipulated and woven together. The colour and sharpness of the images is often intensified: in reproductions of the famous photograph of the 99c supermarket in America the colours seem flat but ‘in the flesh’ the colours are almost fluoro in their saturation and brightness.

Having said that the photographs are nearly always unemotional – as though seen from above in the third person, they observe with detachment. The intrigue for the viewer is in the detail, in working out what is going on, but these are not passionate photographs on the surface. It is beneath the surface that the photographs have their psychological effect: the best of the images work on the subconscious of the viewer. Like a fantastical dance the three very wide images of the Formula 1 pits feature pit crews practicing tyre changes, frozen in a choreographed ballet. People in the galleries above stare down; pit lane girls seem to have been inserted digitally into the images, standing at side or behind the pit crews in a seemingly surreal comment on these worlds. These are theatrical tableaux vivant, splashed with teams colours. Fantastic photographs.

In some of the images, such as the Madonna concert or the photograph of the Bahrain Formula 1 racetrack, space seems to have folded in on itself and the viewer is unsure of the structure of the image and of their vantage point in looking at them. Space also collapses in the photograph of the pyramid of Cheops (2006, below), where the depth of field from foreground to background of the image is negligible. Less successful are images of a Jackson Pollock painting and a green grass bank with running river (Rhein II 1996, below), intensified beyond belief so that the river seems almost to be made of liquid silver.

A wonderful exhibition in many aspects, well worth a visit to see one the worlds best photographers at work. The photographs tell detached but psychologically emotional stories about what human beings are doing to the world in which they live. These images are a commentary on the state of this relationship – images of repetition, pattern, construction, use, abuse and fantasy woven into hyperreal visions of an unnatural world.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to the National Gallery of Victoria for inviting me to the opening and for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Dr Isobel Crombie and Fredrick White

 

Dr Isobel Crombie, Senior Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Victoria with sculptor Fredrick White at the opening of the Andreas Gursky exhibition at NGV International, Melbourne.

 

Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955) 'Bahrain I' 2007

 

Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955)
Bahrain I
2007
C Print
120 1/2 x 87 1/4 inches
© Andreas Gursky

 

Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955) 'Tour de France' 2007

 

Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955)
Tour de France
2007
C Print
© Andreas Gursky

 

Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955) 'Cheops' 2006

 

Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955)
Cheops
2006
C Print
307 x 217.1 cm
© Andreas Gursky

 

Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955) 'Madonna I' 2001

 

Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955)
Madonna I
2001
C Print
282.26 x 207.01 x 6.35 cm
© Andreas Gursky

 

Andreas Gursky. 'Pyongyang I' 2007

 

Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955)
Pyongyang I
2007
C Print
307.0 x 215.5 x 6.2 cm
© Andreas Gursky

 

 

For the first time in Australia, an exhibition by German contemporary photographer Andreas Gursky opened at the National Gallery of Victoria. From the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Andreas Gursky presents 21 major works for which the artist is internationally acclaimed. The photographs range from 1989 to 2007 and include seminal works such as Tokyo Stock Exchange and the diptych 99 cent store. Andreas Gursky is recognised as one of the world’s leading contemporary artists. On view through 22 February, 2009.

Well known for his large-scale (generally measuring an astounding four to five metres) and extraordinarily detailed photographs of contemporary life, Gursky continues the lineage of ‘new objectivity’ in German photography which was brought to contemporary attention by Bernd and Hilla Becher.

In the 1990s, Gursky became inspired by the various manifestations of global capitalism. His interest was piqued looking at a newspaper photograph of the crowded floor of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and he began to photograph its flurry of suited traders, somehow moving according to some inbuilt order.

Dr Gerard Vaughan, Director, NGV said the Andreas Gursky exhibition represented a significant coup for Melbourne: “The National Gallery of Victoria is the only Australian venue for this extraordinary show – the first major exhibition of Gursky’s work ever to be seen in this country. Generously organised by the Haus der Kunst Museum in Munich we are extremely fortunate to have had the works in this show selected for us by Andreas Gursky himself.”

Andreas Gursky was born in 1955 and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany. In the early 1980s, he studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germany’s State Art Academy. Whilst there he was heavily influenced by his teachers Bernd and Hilla Becher, who were well known for their methodical black and white photographs of industrial machinery.

In 1984 Gursky began to move away from the Becher style, choosing instead to work in colour. Since then he has travelled across the world to cities such as Tokyo, Cairo, Hong Kong, Stockholm, Singapore and Los Angeles photographing factories, hotels and office buildings – places he considered to be symbols of contemporary culture. His world-view photographs during this period are considered amongst the most original achievements in contemporary photography.

Gursky has been the subject of numerous international exhibitions including the Internationale Foto-Triennale in Esslingen, Germany in 1989 and 1995, the Venice Biennale in 1990, and the Biennale of Sydney in 1996 and 2000. In 2001, Gursky was the subject of an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Press release from the National Gallery of Victoria website

 

Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955) 'F1 Boxenstopp 1' 2007

 

Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955)
F1 Boxenstopp 1
2007
C Print
© Andreas Gursky

 

Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955) 'Tokyo Stock Exchange' 1990

 

Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955)
Tokyo Stock Exchange
1990
C Print
205.0 x 260.0 x 6.2 cm
© Andreas Gursky

 

Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955) 'diptych 99 cent store II' 2001

 

Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955)
diptych 99 cent store II
2001
C Print
© Andreas Gursky

 

Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955) 'Rhein II' 1996

 

Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955)
Rhein II
1996
C print
© Andreas Gursky

 

 

NGV International
180 St Kilda Road
Melbourne
Phone: 03 8620 2222

Opening Hours:
Open 10am – 5pm
Closed Tuesdays
except public holidays

National Gallery of Victoria website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top




Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

If you would like to unsubscribe from the email list please email me at bunyanth@netspace.net.au and I will remove you asap. Thank you.

Join 2,690 other followers

If you would like to unsubscribe from the email list please email Marcus at bunyanth@netspace.net.au and I will remove you asap. Thank you.

Follow Art_Blart on Twitter
Art Blart on Pinterest

Recent Posts

Lastest tweets

November 2020
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Archives

Categories