Wim Wenders (Düsseldorf 1945) was one of the main protagonists of the New German Cinema period of the 1970s. His prolific activity as a filmmaker is paralleled by his work as a photographer, which primarily focuses on the genre of landscape. Photography assumes a fundamental role in describing notions of suspended ambiance, realizing images that represent desolate places, or urban landscapes in which elapsing time seems actively present.
Eight years since the last exhibition of his photographs in Rome, «Urban Solitude» offers a broad examination of Wim Wenders’ perception of reality. Wenders uses photography as a medium to observe, capture and preserve the changing moments through which humanity is constantly moving. The artist utilizes analog technologies by way of counteracting the digital technologies that encourage the transient nature of our modern world.
The exhibition presents twenty-five photographs in which the subject of the urban landscape, dear to the artist, is inextricably connected with that of memory. Each image exudes a feeling of nostalgia and desolation, but also calm and natural beauty, as past narratives and human actions can be sensed in the absence that the artist frames.
One group of works encountered initially in this survey of urban scenarios shows the clear influence upon Wenders of Edward Hopper’s gaze and portrayal of everyday America; another group of more recent works are intimate in the atmosphere they create, expressing a personalized view of our changing world – these images derive from the body of work titled Places, strange and quiet.The photographs on display are accompanied both by the artist’s writings and haikus which “immortalize” his thoughts, just as the images do.
The corpus of photographs in the exhibition represents the main facets of Wim Wenders’ practice; directly reflecting the perception of reality which he visually experiences, while travelling. Mediated through absence, these suspended images talk of humanity and the memory of places in the silent time flow. The exhibition, curated by Adriana Rispoli, is promoted by Regione Lazio inside the Project ABC Arte Bellezza Cultura and organized by Incontri Internazionali d’Arte and Civita (from the press release).
Wim Wenders, Urban Solitude, curated by Adriana Rispoli, Palazzo Incontro, Rome, 18 aprile – 6 luglio 2014
images (1 cover) 1999 © Wim Wenders / Wenders Images – Mississippi Town, USA, 2001, C-Print. (2) Wim Wenders, Moscow Backyard, Moscow, 2006, C-Print. (3) Wim Wenders, Woman in the Window, USA, 1999, C-Print.