Wim Wenders & why photography is over for him...


Wim Wenders is a German filmmaker, playwright, author, and photographer who had three Academy Award nominations - Best Documentary Feature: "Buena Vista Social Club", "Pina", and "The Salt of the Earth" (the latter about photographer Sebastião Salgado).  Two of his 64 director credits include "Paris, Texas" (1984) and "Wings of Desire" / "Der Himmel über Berlin" (1987).

It seems that Wenders regards photography as a thing of the past:  "It’s not just the meaning of the image that has changed – the act of looking does not have the same meaning.  Now, it’s about showing, sending and maybe remembering.  It is no longer essentially about the image.  The image for me was always linked to the idea of uniqueness, to a frame and to composition.  You produced something that was, in itself, a singular moment.  As such, it had a certain sacredness.  That whole notion is gone."  ... at least for Wim.


Valley of the Gods, Utah, 1977, (polaroid) by Wim Wenders
© Wim Wenders / Courtesy Deutsches Filminstitut Frankfurt

Wim makes some valid points.  For me it's not so much about 'recapturing the glory days', sounds kind of funny coming from a film user ; ) any case it's not possible to go back.  In some way it's about embracing the current situation, and at the end of the day a good photo is still a good photo...



A collection of Wenders's polaroids will be shown as part of "Instant Stories"
at the Photographers' Gallery, London from 20-Oct-2017 to 11-Feb-2018.

Adamska October 14th, 2017-18:27
Well now, I don't know that I'd say that myself or might I be missing something here.... Of course photography is about capturing something uniquely contextual in any given moment and it also isn't about the past but the present moment you are creating the image in... 
cshimokita October 14th, 2017-19:38
In part I understand that Wenders is talking about 'his' perception It seems that his "reason why we photograph" has evolved over time. Not sure if he's doing that [edit: saying that photography is over] to effect change and/or raise awareness. After all he is having a photo exhibition over the next couple of months. I un... 
Adamska October 14th, 2017-21:29
I understand.... that viewpoint relative to the rapidly amassing mass of recreational photographers on social media, relative to people who are professionals or simply take it seriously nothing has really changed in my opinion. Dawoud Bay's work is authentically interesti... 
cshimokita October 14th, 2017-23:14
I am looking forward to seeing Bay's new project... Bourdin, if not responsible for setting the stage, was certainly one on the trend makers in his field as indeed were Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and others at the 'high point' of the magazine phase. In some circles he is certainly credited with that role of b... 
Adamska October 14th, 2017-23:38
Well, I'm probably disqualified from meritoriously having that debate as I haven't lived through even a short period during that era. The one facet which does give me a certain level of credibility in specific discussions is that I did come of age before social... 
cshimokita October 14th, 2017-23:54
; ) I was already in school when we got our first TV (B&W / one channel), so by the same criteria I can talk about the radio... which BTW I have always thought to be one of the greatest inventions ever. . You definitely have credibility, and I enjoy your comm... 
bimbeano October 15th, 2017-16:20
That's what i am feeling as well ... .. and probably a lot of other people. Is it a bad thing ? Not necessarily i guess .. but there is no way back ..................... Filip
cshimokita October 15th, 2017-17:18
"In business, what’s dangerous is not to evolve" from Jeff Bezos, founder, chairman, and ceo of Amazon that might have broader application. . I am approaching an anniversary of sorts... in one way it might be fun to see some old friends... but I am definitely in the camp that says "moving on is not a ba... 
J_Warden October 16th, 2017-13:33
It certainly is over... for him. :-) And I do agree that photography has changed dramatically during the time he's commenting about. It is far harder to make a living as a photographer these days for instance due to market conditions (magazines and newspapers in decline, fine art photography... 
cshimokita October 16th, 2017-17:02
Not so sure that it's over for him... Close's change from photorealistic painting to a pictorial syntax of using small dots to build the images was an interesting decision and change of direction for him. I don't really know that much about the artist / photographer. Last night I was watching... 

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