In the light of this, the rare insight the legendary photo agency Magnum provides with this exhibition is even bolder. It includes more than 100 contact sheets from seven decades by the most renowned photographers worldwide – ranging from Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, David „Chim“ Seymour, Werner Bischof, George Rodger and Elliott Erwitt, o Inge Morath, René Burri, Eve Arnold, Leonard Freed, Thomas Hoepker, Josef Koudelka und Gilles Peress, Martine Franck, Martin Parr, Jim Goldberg, Trent Parke, Jonas Bendiksen, Bruno Barbey, Paolo Pellegrin and Alec Soth.
The exhibition shows a chronological sequence of passionately committed reportage from the Second World War, street scenarios from the Prague Spring, icons such as Che Guevara, Mohammed Ali and Malcom X, the Balkan Wars and Bloody Sunday, hot spot Middle East, portraits of Japanese, Brazilian and British society, as well as many more historical events worldwide. By means of this unique combination of contact sheets, three different levels are visible in the exhibition: The respective political-sociological contents of the photographs themselves, the general history of photojournalism, as well as the history of the origins of each of the photos.
All of the analogue image formats are included in the compilation put together by Magnum – from the standard 35mm format to panorama shots or large format photos in black-and-white or colour. The comments and markings made by photographers or photo editors are often visible, showing the best motifs in the series or determining the precise detail of a photo.
Meanwhile, the contact sheet has become a relict of a technology that is now obsolete. The working processes and formats have fundamentally changed through digitalization. As a consequence of this dematerialization, the contact sheet is merely an archival phenomenon, yet at the same time it has come more and more into focus in terms of content, becoming an artefact itself. It symbolizes an autonomous genre with close links to film, narration and traditional photojournalism. Hence this exhibition by Magnum is a tribute to the analogue work and the authenticity of the medium of photography – as well as the swan song for a lost art form.
Deutsche Börse Group
In cooperation with
Magnum Photos . Forte di bard | valle d'aosta . Schirmer/Mosel . MdF Berlin