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Specialist Jacob Uecker discusses Ferrari I with Beat Wismer, General Director of the Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, on the occasion of the Andreas Gursky retrospective.
Jacob Uecker: What do you think makes the Formula 1 so fascinating for Gursky? As you know it is a topic to which he has returned a couple of times, not only in Ferrari I, but also in such works as Bahrain I or IF1 Pitstop exhibited at your Museum.
Beat Wismer: The racing sport has a great fascination for him and I think that when you look at Ferrari I, it is not a picture of the race but, what interests him here is this choreography of the pit-stop, every hand-movement has to be precise so that this thing gets back onto the track. I think that this perfect coordination of the entire team, around one thing, around one machine, which you actually don’t see, I think that this ballet type choreography, this is what fascinates him.
JU: Do you also think that it has something to do with the fusion of technology and the human? He himself works with a highly trained team, who work with computers and technical equipment to accomplish his photographs, in a way that technology is an extension of human capabilities, or for example the camera as an extension of the human hand. Do you think this plays a role?
BW: Indeed, I think this always plays a role. What is interesting here, he is on the other side of the spectator, he has a view which the spectator does not have, and because for him the photograph is a type of stage on which this, as you will, ballet plays out, so this is what I actually find fascinating with this shot.
JU: It is almost like a spectacle which we observe, which on the other hand the spectators on the balcony are observing as well.
JU: And I think this is also true for the most part, as some of Gursky’s works have a massive scale, so that you really have the feeling to be part of the scene.
BW: Well, I think that he recognizes a possibility for a picture, concentrates this reality through numerous interventions, through composition, and so comes to a photo which expresses much more about the reality, that is not anymore a simple photograph. He recognizes in his subject a potential and concentrates this, he does not narrate, he overcomes the content of that which he sees and concentrates this to a core statement. He goes through the world and recognizes potential pictures and makes pictures out of these.
JU: He focuses and concentrates the images digitally to get to the core and express the essence of what is actually there?
BW: Well, yes, focusing and concentrating are two very important key words.
JU: Thank you very much.
The Andreas Gursky retrospective will run until 3 February 2013 in the Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf
Post-War & Contemporary Art