121211: Westlicht, Schauplatz für Fotografie Weegee – Retrospective 1932 – 1960

Westlicht, Schauplatz für Fotografie Weegee – Retrospective 1932 – 1960 22.11.11 – 12.02.12 The vulgar modernist Nighttime in New York, a drunkard sleeping on the curb stone, an undertaker next to him. Cigarette smoke gets more and more intensive as Arthur Fellig, called Weegee, who practically smokes all the time and everywhere, arrives next to the drunkard. He takes his camera, contemplates, and shoots. An icon of photography has just emerged. Some say he was an opportunist, others believe that he made his photos to document the reality in the slums. The truth is probably somewhere inbetween. A small portion of Fellig’s thousands of photos is now displayed in the Westlicht exhibition. Two stand out at the entrance: on the left a man in an elegant suit, next to him a photograph showing two ladies in evening dresses. The same scenery? Definitely not - the man is a poor sales agent and just leaving church; the ladies are on their way to the opera. Among the displayed works is also one of his most beautiful photographs: Coney Island, 1945. The photo shows Coney Island beach crowded with people - most of them staring at his camera. His assistant Louie Lotta said Weegee climbed onto a platform and danced and screamed until enough eyes were staring at him before he took the picture. In 1945, he started to produce distorted photographs with the help of special lenses, mirrors, textured glass and melted Plexiglas. This period is often left out but luckily some of these works are shown here. Now it’s not him taking a picture of distorted reality but him distorting something - no matter if it's Dali or Marilyn Monroe. Weegee was a member of Cinema 16, the legendary film club founded by Amos Vogel. When Vogel heard that Weegee also filmed he asked his permission to compile the material to a film. The material is remarkable and reminds both of his early as well as his later work. Even if Weegee’s later films are not shown and some of his more well known works are not presented at this exhibition it doesn’t really matter. The arrangement of the works and the context by far exceed the expectations for Weegee’s first exhibition in Vienna. Patrick Schabus Westlicht. Schauplatz für Fotografie 1070 Vienna, Westbahnstrasse 40 Tel: +43(1) 522 66 36 – 0 Fax: +43 (1) 523 13 08 Email: info@westlicht.com http://www.westlicht.com

Westlicht. Schauplatz für Fotografie
1070 Wien, Westbahnstrasse 40
Tel: +43 1 522 66 36 - 0, Fax: +43 1 523 13 08
Email: info@westlicht.com
Öffnungszeiten: täglich 11-19h, Do 11-21 h

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