Manhattan Picture Worlds.
Photographs by Thomas Wrede. Text by Marshall Berman, Christoph Schaden.
Kerber, 2010. 120 pp., 53 color illustrations, 10½x12¼".

Publisher's Description
Over the past six years, German photographer ThomasWrede (born 1963) has made the billboards of Manhattan a photographic motif or stage, in order to play them off against the realism of the street life around them, and to make explicit the chasm between the “ideal life” sold us by advertising and the real life that falls so short of it. In working this interplay, Wrede produces images that at once baffle the eye and bind it into a single tight glyph of layers—layers that we, as urban pedestrians, usually experience as a multiplelevel bombardment rather than as the unified coherenceWrede fashions. What Manhattan Picture Worlds finally reveals is the deeply semiotic nature of urban experience, in the number of brands competing for our attention along any given city block.Wrede’s photographs do not overtly critique this fact, but simply make it comprehensible to our eyes and minds.


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