Thursday, 12 June 2014

Opening & Installation

It's taken me a while to get around to this -- there's been so much else to do -- but here, finally, are some pictures of the gallery installation.

The FotoForum gallery, centrally situated in the heart of Innsbruck's Alte Stadt, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer, and I have both been invited back (following my 2010 show here) and chosen as the featured artist for the 25th year celebration, which is very gratifying, given the consistently high standard of photography that has been shown here over that time.  The exhibition has been featured in the local press, and on the regional television.  Here's a link to the 3-minute news slot dedicated to my show and the gallery's anniversary: [sorry, the link may already have gone] obviously, it's in German, but I think you'll get the idea.  I have now pretty much got over seeing the way I must  look and sound to other people, but it was an unpleasant surprise, I have to say.  It makes you realise why people who appear on TV can be such a vain bunch.

Those three minutes of TV took about two hours to arrange and film (I have no idea how much longer they took to edit).  We borrowed a rather beautiful nearby courtyard garden, where I wandered about pretending to photograph.  If you've ever wondered what it's like to be filmed for TV, it looks like this:

The photo below shows Rupert Larl, the gallery owner, being interviewed.  Rupert is very much Mr. Photography in this part of the world, with an international reach and reputation.  He has a fund of entertaining and enlightening anecdotes about the photographers he has met and worked with, from William Eggleston to Michael Schmidt and Luigi Ghirri.  As his English is considerably better than my German, I'm afraid to say we've mainly spoken in English.  In a photographic analogy I like very much, Rupert says his English is imperfect but expressive, like using Grade 5 paper.  He is also a native of Tyrol, and a student of its history and culture, and thus a useful source of contextual information.  Correction, too: he insists that Tyroleans are not death-obsessed, but stereotypically happy, hedonistic, thigh-slapping types.  My towel rail, he suggests, will have been made in Vienna.  Hmm, maybe so, but I still wouldn't have it in my bathroom.

This is the first room of the exhibition, long, and largely artificially-lit:

And this is the second (better seen in the interview shot above), which is an old metal-working workshop, with beautifully diffused natural light coming from skylights:

My time here is drawing to a close, and I will have a haul of about 1500 photos to review by the end.  For me, that's an enormous number: an average of 150 a day is about ten times my normal rate.  If I get an anticipated "hit" rate of between 2.5% and 5%, I should end up with enough material for a book.  But that's a long way off.  First I must squeeze the best value out of my one remaining day, and then figure out how to get the hire car back to the airport on Saturday.  Oh, and go back to work on Monday.

I should express my thanks to Rupert Larl for giving me this wonderful opportunity, and also to Heinz Hafele, for his help with the German version of the "text" I read out at the opening, as well as several lifts home at awkward hours.


Zouk Delors said...

Were you actually taking that one of the cameraman when we saw you, at the beginning of the clip, pan to point your own device at the viewer? There should be a way to mount a still togther with your photo to encapsulate that moment, if so.

Mike C. said...

Quite likely, but unfortunately it seems the clips only stay up for a week, so it's gone. I'll ask threm for a copy, but for now most people won't have seen it.