Photographs by Bernhard Prinz.
Steidl Eskildsen, 2012. 180 pp., 114 color illustrations, 9x11".
This first extensive overview of the photographs of Bernhard Prinz heads for the center of the artist's oeuvre, the portrait, which Prinz has often featured opposite sculptural arrangements. This work-in which young boys ('Krux') and women ('Ikonen') stare straight into the camera, sometimes just a little bit disrobed and always in front of a neutral backdrop-has been described as creating an atmosphere of strangeness, distance and coldness. The photographs are at once eroticized and emptied, sculptural, enigmatic and powerful. They can feel hostile or inviting from one moment to the next. This curious quality makes them absolutely riveting. One writer noted the way Prinz's work captures 'young, beautiful humans, who-removed from any social connection, any emotion, psychological condition or physical individuality-seem to portray the entire culture.' At the least it contrasts the mass nature of photography with the metaphors and allegories of individual identity and plays complex games with impact and meaning.
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