Long Shot Close Up

Andreas Gursky – Imposing Images

Andreas Gursky’s large imposing images are either packed edge to edge with detail or minimised and deprived of anything distracting. The former Dusseldorf School student has a unique way of documenting a place. His images show the influence of his teachers, Bernd and Hilla Becher, however the German photographer has developed an approach and presentation which is identifiable his own.

Gursky’s images at times almost seem free of composition, there can be so much detail that a hint of narrative is replaced by the complete story. I wrote some notes from a documentary on Gurksky’s approach to photography, here he compares how the writer word and the image are read.

Literature – What is read or said is taken as true, even if extract detail is added. The questioning is less as we are more acceptant of what we are being told.

Image – Photography is questioned more, the detail is analysed.  We read more visually.

The micro detail in a Andreas Gursky photography takes us time to digest and read. As a viewer, you have to concentrate and become intimate with the image and the subject.

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In Paris, Montparnasse (Gursky, A. 1993)

The image below was at the centre of Jan Schmidt-Garre’s film, long shot close up, where he documents how Gurksy works. The film documents how Gursky approaches photographing a miner’s changing room, where personal belongings are stored before the decent into the mines.

Gurksy repeatedly visited the site before planning and taking his photograph, there was nothing left to chance. However, it was the post production work that intrigued me, many digital layers are applied, detail added, so much so that I would be fascinated to see the original image to compare. I am not saying this wrong, merely it questions what we see and except as being true.

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Hamm, Bergwerk Ost (Gursky, A. 2008)

I am a admire of Andreas Gursky’s work and how he somehow seems to remove the photographers emotional input into an image. What you see, is always applied with the appearance of being honest and true.

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Toys ‘R’ Us (Gursky, A. 1999)

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Kuwait Stock Exchange (Gursky, A. 2007)

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Rhine II (Gursky, A. 1999)

Further research – Dusseldorf School of photographers: –  Andreas Gursky (Started), Candida Höfer, Axel Hütte, Thomas Ruff (Started) and Thomas Struth.

Long Shot Close Up. (2011) [DVD] Arthaus Musik GmbH.

Gursky, A. (1993) In Paris, Montparnasse. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20140922-how-to-take-photos-of-buildings (Accessed 28 January 2018)

Gursky, A. (2008) Hamm, Bergwerk Ost.  Available at: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20140922-how-to-take-photos-of-buildings (Accessed 28 January 2018)

Gursky, A. (1999) Toys ‘R’ Us.  Available at: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20140922-how-to-take-photos-of-buildings (Accessed 28 January 2018)

Gursky, A. (2007) Kuwait Stock Exchange.  Available at: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20140922-how-to-take-photos-of-buildings (Accessed 28 January 2018)

Gursky, A. (1999) Rhine II.  Available at: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20140922-how-to-take-photos-of-buildings (Accessed 28 January 2018)