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Thomas Neumann. Pictures from Utopia
Texts by Stefanie Kreuzer, Ruth May and Gudrun Prengel, Design by Neil Holt
extra Verlag, 2006, 28 pages, 17 color images, 23 x 30 cm, softbound with dust jacket, German/English
Utopia and Photography: Who Whom?
The twelve-part series “PICTURES FROM UTOPIA” by Thomas Neumann focuses on the exciting and complex challenge posed by the interrogation of the capacity of photographic images of a particular utopia to represent that very utopia and by the analysis of the visual language used by the artist within the medium of photography.
Both the topographic and ideal point of departure for this series, which was produced in 2003, was given by the residential city of the EKO, Eisenhüttenstadtkombinat Ost. At the time of its inception, this East German combine was considered to be the model city of Socialism, and its construction, or indeed its virtual invocation of a new society, was accompanied and photographically documented with extraordinary exactitude. This vision for the future, so closely linked to the architecture of the city, was published in specialist journals in the 1950s and 1960s, which provide the raw material for the works of Thomas Neumann.
By selecting certain motifs from the images published in these journals, images whose specific photographic vocabulary was designed to envision, to visualise, a social utopia, the artist attempts to filter out, to clarify and not least to examine the visual code of this utopia and the pictorial language in its multifarious manifestations, whether through the choice of an emotional point of view, through the creation of a particular perspective or in the representation of certain gestures.
Excerpt Text by Stefanie Kreuzer (translation by Cathrine Nichols)
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