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September 2007: Helmut Newton Foundation 3Juni to 18November 2007.

September 2007: Helmut Newton Foundation 3Juni  to 18November 2007.
courtesy Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin

 

Helmut Newton, Larry Clark, Ralf Gibson


 Helmut Newton Foundation 3Juni – 18November 2007.

 

 It’s my second time in the Helmut Newton foundation, and I always find the feeling in the house very striking. The physical feeling of the architecture and of Newton’s presence in the space, as where personally I think they could have taken out the 3 dimensional poster of him, he is present through his works in a much stronger way. The house is kind of a mansion with 3 floors to both sides of the staircase. I couldn’t think of a better house for Newton’s works. It seems like he would have lived there himself, him and all the woman in his photographs. I wander what Alice would feel about this…

Three photographers are displaying their work. Helmut Newton, Larry Clark and Ralf Gibson (After the last show of David Lachapelle, its nice to see a more “real” approach to reality). A selection of pictures that Newton published in his own magazine “Helmut Newton’s Illustrated”, between 1987 and 1995 are presented for the first time as a complete exhibition in the front three rooms of the foundation. The central room is dedicated to two (in) famous bodies of work, “Tulsa” and “teenager Lust”, by the photographer and filmmaker, Larry Clark. Created in the sixties and seventies, Clark revealed to us the world of teenage sex and drug use in a way that had been taboo up until that time. In this he was the most influential predecessor of photographers like Nan Goldin (who I absolutely adore) and Richard Billingham. Clark’s provocative book “Tulsa” was published in 1971 by Lustrum Press. This publishing company was founded by Ralph Gibson and through it he distributed his own photography books, “The Somnambulist”, “Deja-vu” and “Days at sea”, amongst others. A representation selection of B/W and Color images from these and later projects by Gibson are represented in the remaining exhibition rooms.

I find Clarks work to be very straightforward and honest in his approach to these teenagers and the surreal life they live, maybe close to the way Boris Michailov approaches his subjects in , where he also grew up. I believe him through the photos presented and I cant help comparing this difference with the more contemporary photographer Ryan McGinley, How conscious Ryan is of the art and fashion world and I feel that when Clark’s works are the reality itself, with Ryan it is a reproduction and banality of this reality that he presents to us through exhibitions and fashion magazines.

 

Some quotes from Larry Clark: "We all took a lot of drugs; my friends got into crime, and I was kind of an outlaw back in that period myself..."

"I like my work to look sexy"

"Tulsa was straight documentary but it had a fictive quality to it," Clark says.

I remember saying he wishes he had a camera when he was young…

As to Newton’s works I don’t feel there is much to add. I have always thought how woman feel walking around this house and viewing Newton’s woman. I asked several woman viewers about there feeling in the house.

Pola 38,  

Nice, interesting strange

Denise, Alexandra 24, 26

Some (of the works) are very powerful having wearing clothes or being naked it’s the same, and some are to pornographic for me. (I would like to talk to here more about the meaning of pornography)

Claudia 44,

Downstairs (the first exhibition room) it bothers me that the men are dressed and the women are always naked. I would like to see also the men naked next to the woman. Upstairs its more “independent”.

Anna mid 20’s,

I love his work. I wish there where more men!! (Here male date disagrees), and she adds, “But the woman are masculine enough on their own, but still I wish there where more men. They (the photos) are so sexy!!


Helmut Newton Foundation 3Juni – 18November 2007.

Jebensstarsse 2 Berlin

Tuesday – Sunday 10hr - 18hr. Thursday from 18hr free of charge.

Phone: +49 30 266 3666

www.helmutnewton.com





I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my disappointment from this years Documenta in Kassel, . Most of the works shown are simply not good, and the way they are installed is sometimes really disturbing (not to mention all the camera clicking around you all the time, as though we see art through a tiny l.c.d. monitor). Surely there are some strong works but generally it makes you wonder what the point is in having these mega exhibitions with a beach garden and a relaxing tent.

I would also like to object to the cheap and exotic use (by the curators) of Islamic and African symbols through culture and “conflict zones for the European viewers. It seemed just cheap and banal, while not understanding any situation in depth, but rather drawing a pornographic image of the “other”.

 

 

 

 

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Ariel Reichman


Ariel Reichman Lives and works in Berlin/Jerusalem. He was born in 1979.
arelart@yahoo.com

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