New objectivity: from nature to industry

 

 

 

© Albert Renger-Patzsch

 

 

Renger-Patzsch (1897-1966) approaches to photography by his father´s influence, an amateur photographer. He studied Humanities and, after his military service (where he collaborated as a scientific assistant), he started Physics at the University of Dresde. However, he gave up his studies to dedicate entirely to photography. He also felt attracted to writing (he wrote more than thirty photography books). Foremost among these is “Die Welt ist schön” (The world is beautiful), 1928, that is a classic of modern photography. 

 

 

© Albert Renger-Patzsch

 

 

The exhibition is organised in several sections that presents an overview of his artistic career, which combine his personal projects with commercial practices. Renger-Patzsch was a relevant figure of the German New Objectivity, an artistic movement that emerged after the end of World War I as a reaction against the Expressionism that preceded it. This current strove to represent the world in the most objective way possible in a period in which Europe was going through numerous changes. He considered photography as a technical invention that belonged to the field of science.

 

 

© Albert Renger-Patzsch

 

 

In a first period, he worked for a publisher by making photographies of plants and flowers in a very severe and technical way. Neutral, dark or blurred backgrounds allowed focusing on details. He developed a careful and thoughtful method which lets him represent an objective and faithful reality. His first photographs are compilated in the book “Die Welt ist schön”, formed by 100 images that show nature and human developments: plants, landscapes, objects, architecture, city, industry, etc. These artworks enhance the importance of the industry and seriality, highlighting the perspective and the contrast of lights and shadows.

 

 

© Albert Renger-Patzsch

 

 

It can be seen how the artist keep on eye on the modern city. This is consider the place where the new and the old violently coexist. Using geometry he propose complicated frames. Lately, he focused on the peaceful feeling that nature brings; he used to walk a long time to find out the best conditions to take his pictures. Then, he paid attention to organic shapes in nature, such as the different textures that contrast with industry pulid surfaces.

 

 

© Albert Renger-Patzsch

 

 

Renger-Patszch proposes a view that focuses on the new era. His photographs can be visited during summer months until the 10th of September in Mapfre Foundation Recoletos Hall, where can also be enjoyed an exhibition about portrait in the 20th century, in which different artists from all around the world and historical moments approach to the human figure in a variety of ways.

 

 

© Albert Renger-Patzsch

 

 

Thirteen years have passed since its beginnings, and in all this time the Video Art Festival PROYECTOR has grown and consolidated its position as an essential event in this discipline. Since its inception, the initiative has tried to give visibility to a discipline that has always been relegated to the background in the usual exhibition circuits. Although video creation is not new, since it emerged by its own in the 60s of last century, the way to get to know it and enjoy it has not always been easy. On many occasions, the exhibitions only included a few isolated pieces within the main route, as if the video was the anecdotal contribution to the whole. However, our daily lives are invaded by moving images, and there is a paradox that video art, despite being a format of artistic expression very much in tune with the habits of today's society, remains a minority discipline

Frame from “Hel City”, by Gregorio Méndez Sáez, 2019

To some extent, PROYECTOR was born to reverse this situation, to value video as a creative format and to offer a wide, itinerant space to host a multitude of proposals, coming from inside and outside our borders. In this time, the growth of the festival has led it to travel the world, but also, to be a benchmark that each year arouses more interest. In the open call to receive proposals, they reach almost half a thousand, and a hundred works selected by the jury are a representative sample of different ways of understanding video creation, with pieces mainly from Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

In turn, PROYECTOR wants to be more than a video showcase and offers a large program with talks, workshops, masterclasses, meetings with artists, visits and concerts. A complete experience that always has the moving image as a backdrop.

El Instante Francisco Ruiz de Infante. El bosque que se mueve (errores de medida)

In this evolution, another circumstance stands out: video is a creative format that has its own codes, but it is also one of the disciplines most open to artistic hybridization and the widening of uses. The video may, therefore, be the genuine idea of an author who conceives an autonomous project to be carried out in this format, but it can also be the complementary result of an action or the documentary record of a previous performance being recorded to guarantee its survival. The versatility of the moving image and the potential that it has acquired in recent years allows us today to speak of numerous branches of art that focus on the fusion of languages and the integration of techniques and methodologies from other sectors, and in many of them, the video is still a cornerstone. So it is with technological art, interactive sound art, performance recording, the transformation from big data to image, artificial intelligence, and a long etcetera. Precisely for this reason, PROYECTOR offers a panoramic vision of this reality, with an extremely interesting program that plays with the variety and wealth of proposals.

Frame from “Herdança”, by Thiago Rocha Pitta, 2007

The 2020 edition will run from September 9th to 20th. As usual, the program displays in various venues throughout the city of Madrid, each of which will house a small section of the activities. This year the festival will count with the collaboration of the Casa Árabe, White Lab, Cruce, El Instante Fundación, ¡ésta es una PLAZA!, Extensión AVAM (Matadero Madrid), Institut Français de Madrid, Medialab Prado, Quinta del Sordo, Sala Alcalá 31, Sala El Águila, Secuencia de Inútiles and White Lab, in addition to the collaboration of the INELCOM Collection and the video art collection of Teresa Sapey.

The festival is also the ideal place to articulate the cultural fabric, since it involves numerous professionals in the sector, from curators to creators, from centres managers to critics and teachers. The 2020 program also has the collaboration of the FUSO Festival and the Museo Reina Sofía, which are providing some of their pieces for the exhibition.

In short, an appointment that lovers of contemporary art should not miss and that promises many novelties in this 13th edition.