Andreas Gursky | postmedia
|Veit Görner : You recently mentioned that you have to defend yourself against being described as a landscape or architectural photographer. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that many of your early photos really do show the countryside of your homeland and, later, alpine landscapes. And even in more recent pictures such as Yogyakarta, Grand Hyatt Park or Rhein. nature and the landscape don't seem to have lost their appeal for you. However, the sometimes overwhelming fascination that these pictures of natural beauty exercise on the viewer can make us forget all too easily that human beings or other traces of civilization are also in the picture. But there are two aspects of your pictures that I find even more interesting than this little contrast. Firstly, that you've added a global view of things to your local perspective, which I believe quite pragmatically is a result of the trips you take in connection with your artistic activities. What I find more interesting, however, is that your more recent works have become more strictly formal. What could be thought of as an arbitrary situation is dominated by a structure, such as in Rhein, the pictures of Portman architecture, or the almost stage-managed pictures of shoes, Prada I and II or o.T.V.. How did this shift in emphasis come about? Is it just a way of avoiding being confused with other artists, or is it the result of a new fascination with the idea of order or the serially ornamental?||Andreas
Gursky : Yes, my pictures really are becoming
increasingly formal and abstract. A visual structure
appears to dominate the real events shown in my pictures.
I subjugate the real situation to my artistic concept of
the picture. Apart from the constantly recurring elements
I have already mentioned, another aspect occurs to me
which explains the way my pictures function. You never
notice arbitrary details in my work. On a formal level,
countless interrelated micro and macrostructures are
woven together, determined by an overall organizational
principle. A closed microcosm which, thanks to my
distanced attitude towards my subject, allows the viewer
to recognize the hinges that hold the system together. Of
course, there are adequate reasons to justify such a
formal, schematic representation of reality.
If you talk about my interest in nature, I have to explain my extended notion of nature. I am perhaps more interested in the nature of things in general - again and again, the term "aggregate state" comes to mind when I describe the existential state of things.
Being confused with
other photographers has ceased to be an issue for me
since l stopped working thematically. After my degree our
work did occasionally overlap within the Becher circle,
which sometimes caused headaches. The more success we
had, however, the more we learnt to deal with such things
more calmly - thank God. But it would be a sorry state of
affairs if my artistic development were to depend on the
results of my colleagues' work. The shift in emphasis you
mention could also be seen as a logical progression from
the seemingly naive landscapes of the Eighties to today's
drier and more abstract pictures. I believe that there's
also a certain form of abstraction in my early
landscapes: for example, I often show human figures from
behind and thus the landscape is observed «through» a
second lens. I don't name the activities of the human
figures specifically and hence do not question what they
do in general. The camera's enormous distance from these
figures means that they become de-individualized. So I am
never interested in the individual, but in the human
species and its environment. This is also true of Rhein.
I wasn't interested in an unusual, possibly picturesque
view of the Rhine, but in the most contemporary possible
view of it. Paradoxically, this view of the Rhine cannot
be obtained in situ, a fictitious construction was
required to provide an accurate image of a modern river.
The same thing happened when I visited over 70
world-famous industrial companies. Most of them had a
socio-romantic air I hadn't expected. I was looking for
visual proof of what I thought would be antiseptic
industrial zones. If these companies had been
systematically documented one would have had the feeling
one was back in the days of the Industrial Revolution.
After this experience I realized that photography is no
longer credible, and therefore found it that much easier
to legitimize digital picture processing.
|This text is part of "
generally let things develop slowly" a conversation
between Veit Gorner and Andreas Gursky included in the
book published by Cantz Verlag
|Michel Guerrin: Le subjectivisme de Steinert et l'objectivisme de Becher semblent inconciliables. Est-ce cette double influence qui vous permet d'associer des images hyper-réalistes à d'autres presque abstraites ?||Steinert et Becher sont en effet
opposés. Sans doute suis-je un caméléon. Je vois mon
travail comme un laboratoire où j'essaie d'explorer tout
ce qui est explorable par la photographie. Peter Galassi
écrit que je suis imprégné d'influences empruntées à
l'histoire de l'art et de la photographie. C'est possible
mais je ne m'y perds pas. (Le Monde, Feb. 2002)
|Andreas Gursky in Amazon.com||
Andreas Gursky was born in Leipzig 1955. He lives in Düsseldorf.
He was introduced to photography by his father, a commercial photographer and, later, studied at the Folkwangschule in Essen. That was the school that Otto Steinert had established as West Germany's leading school of traditional photography. In the early 1980s, Gursky attended the class of Bernd Becher at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, where he graduated in 1987.
Gursky at Broad Art Foundation
Andreas Gursky : Photographs from 1984 to the Present
by Marie Luise Syring (Editor), Lynne Cooke, Rupert Pfab, Kunsthall Dusseldorf
Hardcover - 132 pages (April 2001)
te Neues Publishing Company; ISBN: 3823854704 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.91 x 12.10 x 13.73
by Peter Galassi
Hardcover - 208 pages (March 2001)
Museum of Modern Art; ISBN: 0810962152 ;
Dimensions (in inches): 1.09 x 12.30 x 13.72
|Andreas Gursky, Andreas Gursky, German photographer, Andreas Gursky, Peter Galassi, Andreas Gursky, Andreas Gursky, German photographer, Andreas Gursky, Peter Galassi,||Andreas Gursky, Andreas Gursky, German photographer, Andreas Gursky, Peter Galassi, Andreas Gursky, Andreas Gursky, German photographer, Andreas Gursky, Peter Galassi,|