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The Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg is dedicating an extensive exhibition to the Cologne photographer Max Regenberg. Regenberg, who was born in Bremerhaven in 1951, is amongst the most interesting representatives of documentary photography. Nonetheless, up to now, his images have not been presented very often. The exhibition programme presents this important oeuvre in a large museum show for the first time. Since the 1970s, Regenberg has been photographing billboard posters in the public urban space. What above all interests the artist in doing so is the coincidental constellations of architecture, poster content and surroundings, since, in his opinion, these provide information about the time in which the images are taken. They are simultaneously contemporary witnesses and memory banks and also show the cultural and political consciousness of society.

Max Regenberg objectively reflects human interventions in nature. In strict straight lines he makes images whose compositions pick up the play with colours, surface, depth and stories initiated by the posters. He consciously dispenses with advertising’s perfect language of forms and a staged objectivity. What are addressed in his photographs are details of urban reality, which he records using a small-format camera. Only in this way is it possible for Regenberg to show the interrelationship of the poster as a ‘design product’ with the surroundings. These combinations of poster and location open up new interpretive contexts of meaning. They can intensify, criticise or parody the advertising message. The pictorial space of the poster can be supplemented by the real surrounding space. Above all the strong contrasts between advertisement and surrounding space offer Max Regenberg a discrete opportunity for social critique in his photographs.

In doing so, he leaves inferences to the viewer – his photographs allow a closer look and with it an intensive perception that runs counter to the posters, which aim at rapid visual con-sumption. As a constant observer, he often exposes the morbid side of advertising. This unmasking effect of his works is the result of a particular aesthetic approach. Although the systems of art and advertising that he examines differ fundamentally in their intentions, they nonetheless cumulate in a common convergence: both systems use the image as a medium that seduces the recipients. Unconsciously, from a collective, shared pictorial memory, we recognise and locate the motif and associate it with the analogous atmosphere. Both art as well as advertising require the landscape in order to produce this reception effect.

An exhibition in cooperation with the Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne.

Supported by the Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung and the Sparkasse Gifhorn-Wolfsburg.

Dates

  • 07. March 2013 12.30 cet
    Press conference
  • 09. March 2013 18.00 cet
    Opening

Press

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07. August 2013

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