"If you travel a lot," writes Wim Wenders, "if you like roaming about in order to lose yourself, you can end up in the strangest places. I think it must be a kind of built-in radar, which often takes me to places that are either peculiarly quiet or peculiar in a quiet sort of way."
Wim Wenders (born in Düsseldorf in 1945) is internationally renowned primarily for his movies, such as Wings of Desire, Pina and The Salt of the Earth, a portrait of the Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado. But the filmmaker acknowledges: "Photographic work is the other half of my life." For decades he has created a photographic oeuvre quite independent of his filmic work: photographs of lonely, at times somewhat bizarre places and landscapes, of settings that have their own story.
On the occasion of the artist's 70th birthday in 2015, Museum Kunstpalast in collaboration with Wenders Images and the Wim Wenders Foundation is presenting a selection of about 80 large-scale photographs, which invariably are analogue creations, made without artificial lighting or tripod. The exhibits range from artist's early black-and-white photographs and monumental landscape panorama pictures through to his rarely shown photographs of "Ground Zero" and new works that were made only last year.
What I firmly wanted to be, was a painter.
And when pictures really impressed and influenced me,
they were by Vermeer and Rembrandt,
Dutch landscape painters,
later, Klee and Kandinsky and Beckmann,
later still, Edward Hopper and others.
As the filmmaker, which is what I became after some detours,
and also as photographer,
I owe infinitely more to the history of painting
than to the history of film or photography.
Perhaps this is why I want to achieve something with my pictures
that is actually rooted in painting.
On many of his photographic works Wenders has written texts, whose rhythms are reminiscent of poems. In these texts he captures his personal impressions, observations and thoughts.
one can […] use a camera
like a recording device,
which not necessarily only records sounds,
but records what the place has to say.
In the photograph he tells his story,
being both actual history and fiction.