Saturday, July 25, 2015

Wolfgang Tillmans - his consuming eye

Wolfgang Tillmans has always been high on my list of photographers whose work I like and admire. Why? Put simply, Tillmans has an uncanny ability to make something out of nothing. Yes, he photographs the banal and the ordinary, but never in a self-conscious way. There is never any artiface in the pictures, no clever (read stupid) juxtapositions. The photographs just are.  Tillmans' makes photography look easy, which of course it isn't. Further, he's been known to say, take something and make something of it. This he does with ease in his bookworks and exhibitions.
It is no surprise that Tillmans won this years Hasselblad award. They say this: Through a consistently challenging and engaging approach to the photographic image in all its forms, its presentation for exhibition and for publications, Tillmans has transformed the relationship between photography and the spaces and languages of contemporary art. He is among the most influential artists for recent and current generations of students, defining the potential and power of the photographic image in the twenty-first century.
To read the full award text you can go to the Hasselblad Foundation site HERE.

And on American Suburb X this week there is the text of a lecture Tillmans gave at the Royal Academy of Arts London in February 2011. Last Autumn I did a talk in New York at the ICP [International Center of Photography] and I thought how am I going to do this one, and I realized that a lot of the audience were just about born when I started working [laughs]. Suddenly, this sense that I have of the overlook of the development of my work was probably lost to a lot of people in the audience. So, I’m going to do something similar and I’m going to show you a lot of pictures. This is going to be feature film length, but I promise not longer than 90 minutes. You can read the full piece on ASX HERE.

You can go to Wolfgang Tillmans' website HERE.

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