Artwork Detail

Wald (Briol II) (Forest [Briol II])
2008
German, b. 1968
C-print
100 1/2 x 67 3/8 "
University purchase, Parsons Fund, 2010
WU 2010.0001.0002
Wolfgang Tillmans’s "Wald (Briol II)" belongs to a three-part series on the Briol forest in northern Italy. For all three works Tillmans used the same transformative reproduction process: with a photocopier, he made a copy of an original photograph, which he then enlarged again as a photographic print. The result is a blurring of the image that brings about not only a loss of definition but also an increase in abstraction. In "Wald (Briol II)", fields of black and white cross the picture plane, abstracting the image of a man following a path into the forest, here evoking the dense unknown. By estranging and dislocating the otherwise familiar, Tillmans establishes a certain amount of distance from this heavily loaded topos of German history and its connections to German Romanticism as well as to the blood-and-soil ideology of national socialism. At the same time, he opens it up, by detour of the copy machine, to a contemporary perspective and an exploration of the medium of photography itself. [Exhibition brochure text, 2013]