Photo exhibitions

Visited not one, but two exhibitions today: World Press Photo (in Naarden) and Anton Corbijn: Inwards and Onwards (at FOAM in Amsterdam).

Next to some sporting shots and portraits, World Press Photo is mainly a registration of what’s going on in the world and human behaviour. Meaning a lot of death, violence and anger. From a photographic perspective a number of interesting pictures, but as a whole it gave me an unpleasant feeling. I’ve been visiting the exhibition for the last 10 or 15 years or so. The feeling doesn’t come as a surprise, therefore. But still, every year it makes you wonder. This is what photojournalists all over the world see and register. As a whole, it presents a picture of what our world looks like. Not a pretty picture, I’m afraid.

The Anton Corbijn exhibition, on the other hand, was all about portraits. All square black and white images. All with the same white border and black frame. So all equal in their presentation. The people on all portraits were Anton Corbijn’s favourite artists. An exhibition brochure states that “the portraits illustrate how the artists struggle with the creative process. The pain and drama of creation…[they] combine soberness and aesthetics and stand out because of the deliberate and exact manner in which the person’s character is captured”. In my opinion, he succeeded in this in some portraits better than in others. But overall it’s a pretty impressive collection, of course.

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