The Great Depression

Society with photographs by German photographer August Zandera I met back in the 60's. Then the Czech-Slovak fotarevyu "Photography" published a few of his shots on "The Great Depression" — the global economic crisis beginning 1930. They were the portraits. I was impressed by the ability of the photographer to show a spirit of social circumstances of the crisis through the precisely selected character types and the psychology of the image.


One of these pictures I offer here called "Unemployed. Crisis of the thirties." I must say, people and types in portraits Zandera very clear in the faces and in the psychological filling. It is the same in the pictures of him "unemployed …" Type itself is already talking about the social status of the person.

In this case, Zander builds excellent composition with a deep perspective and emphasized the emptiness of the street. It's obvious that the picture is taken the camera 9×12 (or 12×18) with a very artistic rysuyuchym lens (especially in rasfokusavanay of the image). Very nice picture of the lens as a whole over the frame.

Composition of the topic chosen completely. An empty city street in the valley of homes coming on the diagonal into blurred perspective, and at the corner of her figure in the foreground of the unemployed, who took off his hat, holding it in his hands, his arms crossed on his stomach. He seemed to be just standing around, but in the right place (on the corner). In a time he once again will have to defeat the will and the shame and downcast eyes, silently continue his hat to passers-by, which will be held on the sidelines.

This whole story is read clearly and naturally. The composition is built and demonstrates that the painting classes and a tribute piktorealizm (against which later gave Zander) still has not passed for him in vain. Here, high photographic culture. Naturally, the ideology and spirit kept shooting primarily on character types and ways of unemployed, very precisely matched photographer.

August Zander started creatively photograph from the early twentieth century. Before the First World War, he departs from piktorealizm and declares his principle of "objective realism" in the photo. He began to reflect "the photographic reality," a reality — by means of photography. Based on this his aesthetics, he had long been working on the theme of "Citizens of the twentieth century." Photographer decided to show all the layers and social groups in Germany in photos of their representatives. Here and workers, and teachers , postal workers and cooks, clerks and vayskaviki etc. photographed them Zander is simple and documented, as if only fixed their presence in the community, sometimes filmed in the circumstances, with the attributes of the profession, especially without worrying about the installation of light, and, more lighting effects.

But only at first glance it seemed that Zander just a documentary clip. Photographer was able to very accurately pick up and reflect the types of the human essence. As a result, he created a gallery of people of German society 20-30s as they were in principle no "artistic" intervention and, even more so — pryharoshvannya. Such a concept of creativity did not match the settings of the Nazis. When they seized power in Germany, have banned the publication Zandera and, in fact, his work. His son rot in a concentration camp.

The main work Zandera "Citizens of the twentieth century" is worth watching, but only in a complex, entirely as a photo gallery. Some photos look better sound and well understood together around the Social Council of the collection. Some photos alone could cause maybe even shrug. Need to see integrity. But the other striking precision photographic vision and clarity of type.

Other works Zandera, however, made as it were at the crossroads of the classics and his "objective reality." These pictures are good there as independent works, even if taken in the context of the series theme.

This sort of pictures just is filming "Unemployed …" which I demonstrate here, and I think one of the best works Zandera.

Photo has different capabilities disclosure and presentation. Very common genres have coverage, series, series, gallery and general "theme". Photographers take up these genres, not only because there laid greater guarantees of success, but also because (sometimes unconsciously) that such an approach (principle of consideration) more understandable to a wide audience, do not require it to an appropriate level and aesthetic training. In general, this is the main way pictures.

But in this context, I am most impressed with the creative principle of a typical and imaginative display when the whole phenomenon is expressed in a single photo. It as the saying goes, "Aerobatics". The whole difficulty here is that in this area of creativity are increased aesthetic demands also for vsprymalnika art. He must be prepared elementary.

If, say, we have set ourselves the task of the Great Depression illustrate the 30s one photo, this picture August Zandera ("Unemployed …") here would be a good fit. It can feel the aura of the difficult times, the spirit of social ills, passed through photographic art photographer and definition means, first of all (repeat) — by type, through the ability to "work" with nature and composition fotakartsiny that is done (and it's clearly visible) on intersection piktorealizm and "objective reality" Zandera.

August Zander was a portraitist of high class. His skill level is seen as the best times at the crossroads of his aesthetic concept of the classical acquisitions pictures, in which he is well oriented and that was a master.

For illustration the more good photos Zandera. This "Portrait of a priest", made in the typical Secession style. Here the characteristic white background, dark specific figure drawing, located atypically (for creating this Secession "line" image), diagonal composition with clear formal objectives: Failure rysuyuchay svyatlotseni, zapavnyayuchae light that seemed to illustrate the lack of special lighting and a flat dekaratyvnasts emphasizes that compositional balanced (dark cassock — a dark cap, a bright face — light hand).

Again, the picture is saved and impresses with stylish composition, but above all a characteristic type of priest (add compiled quite untrue stereotype). The internal state of this image is also easy to read, shows openthe man without mentarstva and church complexes.

Actually, in my opinion, the aesthetic level of photography as a creative phenomenon is determined by the level of the portrait. DO NOT report, which is considered the "bread of Photography", namely portrait determines the quality of the art and ideology of photography. It is not to be understood that the portrait genre in charge. (No photo reportage is dead.) But the aesthetic function of portraiture as the closest thing to the inner world and the image of the personality, is very high. Works of the masters of the world of portrait photography is already proved.

("Portrait of a priest" from the album peraznyaty August Sander Seeing, Observing and Thinking Photographs. — Paris, London, New York, 2009. Photo "Unemployed. Crisis of the thirties" is widely represented in the free web.)

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