11.11.05 - 14.12.05

Jens Liebchen | Playing Fields


"The great American curator John Szarkowski once wrote about a lecture given by the American photographer, Lee Friedlander, in Graz. The taciturn Friedlander was irritating his audience by saying nothing about the dozens of slides he was projecting except to note the location where each photograph was taken. Eventually someone voiced the question. Why did Mr. Friedlander feel it necessary to give this somewhat prosaic information with each slide he showed and was it so relevant that he had made the image he was showing in Chatanoogoo, or Tulsa? Friedlander thought for a moment and eventually replied that if he had not been in that particular city he would not have been able to make that particular photograph.

This delightful but pertinent anecdote and my use of the word 'particular' illustrates something fundamental about photography. It is anchored to the particular, a particular scene, thing or person at a particular place at a paraticular time. Photography is particular, literal, concrete. That is its glory but also its limitation, especially if a photographer is desirous of photographing history - and paradoxically, there is no better subject with which a photographer can engage than history. [...]"

Gerry Badger

from: Hidden - Presence in Absence (printed in the catalogue "Jens Liebchen. Playing Fields", Edition J. J. Heckenhauer, Berlin/Tuebingen 2005. The catalogue with the complete text by Gerry Badger can be purchased through the gallery).

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