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News from Berlin

Walker Evans. A Life’s Work

September 29th, 2014
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News from Berlin – Berlin welcomes one of the greatest personalities in 20th century photography: since 25 July 2014, the Martin-Gropius-Bau has been hosting a comprehensive exhibition presenting Walker Evans’ main areas of work, from his most known pieces documenting the American Great Depression on behalf of the American Farm Security Administration, to other photographs much less known to the general public that, nevertheless, do not leave us untouched. His works give us an insight into people and communities geographically distant from one another, but ultimately very close.

To exemplify this is a series of pictures that Evans took in Haiti and Cuba, where he was accompanying a group of wealthy individuals on their boat trip. The purpose of these photographs was to document their free leisure time. The result was highly impressive. Through his “documentary style”, Evans was able to portray the lives of Haitians and Cubans beyond any paternalistic representation. The viewer can feel Evans’ personality through his models’ eyes, and is transported to a physical and emotional reality within and beyond his photographs.

Another series that intrigues the contemporary observer is a number of secret pictures that Evans took with a disguised camera on the metro in New York. His sociologist gaze introduces us to everyday scenes of individuals travelling in pairs or alone; their faces are modern, witty and only their outfits remind us that the photos have not been taken a couple days ago on a given U-Bahn line.

Spectators will have the chance to enjoy this extraordinary exhibition until 9th November; in the meantime, we thank the Berliner Festspiele with Martin-Gropius-Bau for this event, as part of the European Month of Photography in Berlin, and wait for many more inspirational exhibitions to come.

News from Berlin – Berlin Global