An early work show with photographs from the past 15 years
A little girl brushes her teeth on a bucket of rainwater in a cemetery in the Philippines. A woman in northern Uganda calls for a fight against the oppression of women’s rights. Four cheerleaders rehearse their performance on Santa Monica Beach in California. A Lamborghini Murciélago drives at over 300 km/h over the Circuito de Navarra in Spain and a flock of birds, in the shape of an indicated heart, over the dunes on the west beach of the island of Sylt. Five moments that could hardly be more different and further apart, but two essential things unite these photographs – the real life & the photographer Alexander von Wiedenbeck.
A concrete genre of the photographer is deliberately not definable. He photographs the moments of everyday life, whose attention he cannot evade, regardless of where and what gets his focus. That is what is special for him, the diversity of our world, the wide variety of interests and living conditions. All our passions, hopes but also worries make life so exciting and allow us to discover something new almost every day. Always as a silent observer of this multifaceted world and attentive to the here and now, the photographer does not think in fixed categories. From classic street photography, reportages, nature to planned portraits and editorials, he let the moments pass in their uniqueness and as a kind of voyeur on the edge of the scenery, he decides to press the shutter button… or even not.
The photograph itself has accompanied the former advertiser for almost 20 years. But his view of the essentials has constantly evolved and changed over the years. An important key moment in this development was attending a lecture by the photographer Peter Lindbergh in 2010, who philosophized about the past and reviewed the shared experiences from the 80s and 90s together with Jim Rakete. At that time it was a decisive moment for Alexander von Wiedenbeck to leave the artificial and sometimes over-retouched world of advertising behind and take a path towards “real” photography. Another groundbreaking decision just a few years later was the return to a tool that required the photographer’s full attention – a Leica M Monochrom. Not only because of the entirely manual technology, in which the photographer still has to be photographer and has to specify every single setting such as aperture, exposure time and ISO value himself, this was also the world’s first digital camera with a monochrome sensor, which does not even allow the opptertunity of color. To this day, the photographer relies on this reduced camera technology and even one step further, since 2022 he has also been taking photos again with an analogue Leica M6 and developing the photographs himself in the specially created darkroom – a further return to the essentials of the medium and a homage to the great masters of photography from the past.
The early retrospective shows for the first time more than 130 photographs from the past 15 years that he curated himself. A hodgepodge of real moments of street, reportage, nature and portrait photography, some with previously unpublished photographs from numerous countries around the globe.