Untold Stories – A Coruña, Spain – Jude Cowan Montague


This commemorative exhibition in a black concrete box on the port of La Coruña marks the career of photographer Peter Lindbergh. Self-organized, the vast images are displayed end to end in this new gallery space remodeled from a former industrial space.

Indeed, these fashion clich̩s do not feel exploitative РJCM

To coincide with the exhibition, architect Elsa Urquijo reused a concrete silo, which is now used for a cafe and shop. Executed with attention to detail, its brutalist architectural body is breathtaking. The opening was done on an incredibly tight one-month schedule. The attention to the finishes helps – even the invisible black toilet with the black towel to put in the black bin is thought through.

Peter Lindbergh Photo Exhibition Susana Sanroman

This matte black modernist cube at the water’s edge is an exceptional setting for the work chosen by Lindbergh. It complements the aesthetics of these large cinematic pieces with their fuzzy charm, their use of blur and light to bring out the character and personality of fashion shoots.

Indeed, these fashion photos do not feel exploitative. The clothes fade into the narrative background of the image and the models emerge as actors. Their beauty seems to be revealed rather than enhanced by artificial accessories. The images are not scripted to death, accidental beauty is captured, there is a softness of approach coded into these photos, which quietly carry on the fine art photography traditions of generations long before.

Peter Lindbergh in La Coruna, Spain Photo Susana Sanroman

Peter Lindbergh in La Coruna, Spain Photo Susana Sanroman

Alfred Stieglitz or an interpreted vision of his is everywhere here. His famous quote: “I am going out into the world with my camera and I come across something that turns me on emotionally, spiritually or aesthetically. I see the image in my mind. I take the photograph and print it as the equivalent of what I saw and felt. ‘ He made his way into fashion, not easy with the medium’s business demands. Stieglitz is here in Lindbergh trying to find a sweet moment. It’s not uncommon for haute couture to demand cinematic narratives – like the heist sequence, but there is a sweetness in these works that goes against the authority of the plot.

My favorite pieces are the ones that are the most accidental. Where two faces merge into one and a mysterious compound emerges. Where the abstract forces of photography merge. I love Lindbergh in this half-hidden, half-seen territory where fairies grow through celluloid. It is a romantic sight, realized through photographic paper and photosensitive cells, with the material presence of the medium. Not shiny, mat. The luxury of looking at the paper itself testifying to the wonder of the moment, yet staged, is in reality an accidental moment. No planning can eliminate this and Lindbergh’s work seeks the plan that expresses this.

Peter Lindbergh: Untold Stories - A Coruña, Spain

Peter Lindbergh: Untold Stories РA Coru̱a, Spain Photo: Susana Sanroman

But why are we here? Really because Lindbergh was the first to photograph the original models, the first to photograph the Pirelli Calendar three times, and the first to go behind a camera for the cover of Anna Wintour’s American Vogue. Fashion landmarks. Because he managed to keep the photographer in sight despite the allure of the glitzy fashion business, his work ran counter to a culture of retouch and polish, which continues, fueled by Adobe Photoshop and other miraculous software to push the finish on the emotion.

Lindbergh’s dark aesthetic also suited the vibe of the time. His nihilism accompanied a larger desire to be portrayed at the edge of the things, in the harsh city that suited those who wanted to be taken seriously, who wanted to be in the film noir who felt like 1930s America did. was not over, who wanted to back down against flower power and psychedelia. For this, the aesthetic of neo-realism was essential.

Peter Lindbergh in La Coruna, Spain Photo Susana Sanroman Until February 28, 2022

Words: Jude Cowan Montague © Artlyst 2021 Photos courtesy of Susana Sanroman

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