110313: Leica Store und Galerie Robert Capa – China 1938

Leica Store und Galerie Robert Capa – China 1938 13.02. 2013 – 13.04.2013 Towards death By Susanne Rohringer The beginnings of the Japanese-Chinese War in the 1930s seen from the viewpoint of the photographer Robert Capa are currently shown in the Leica Gallery; in commemoration of his 100th birthday. Robert Capa, the famed (war) photographer travelled to China with a film team in January 1938. Capa was the camera assistant for the film “The 400 Million” and hired to shoot photos of the Chinese resistance against the Japanese aggression. Director of this project was the Dutchman Joris Ivens; John Fernhout was the cameraman (the film is also shown in the Leice Gallery). The timing for this adventurous undertaking was precarious - both for Capa personally as well as in a world political sense. Capa had lost his partner in life, Gerta Taro, in July 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. He was devastated by her death. Capa, born as Andre Friedman, lost his companion who had a similar story, a similar political background and was also a photographer. The film team arrived in China immediately after the Japanese massacre in Nanking and at first, the team stayed in the provisional capital of Hankou. Ivens wanted to show the collaboration between nationalist China under General Chiang Kai-Shek with Red China; the movie was planned to be a kind of propaganda film. But soon the director was faced by numerous difficulties and Capa began to feel the influence of Chiang Kai-Shek’s wife, who was anxious to present her husband and the national Chinese troops in a positive light, making free photography or filming impossible. In order to finance his stay in China, Capa took photographs of the Chinese General and his wife that were later published in the magazines “Life” and the “Picture Post”, although he secretly sympathized with Red China. The small exhibition gives a very good impression of the content and form of political photo reporting in the 1930s. It shows a war zone that is unfamiliar for most Europeans. It shows the delusions and crimes committed by the national Chinese propaganda. And it shows China’s imperial war, which, in 1941, turned into a world war in the far east after the USA intervened. It also shows the work of a photo reporter, who had first-hand experience of the world political atrocities of the 20th century and who developed a deep sensitivity for injustice and crime. And it shows the view of a man who had lost the love of his life. Leica Store und Galerie 1010 Vienna, Walfischgasse 1 Tel: +43 1 236 74 87 http://www.leicastore.at Opening hours: Mon -Fri 10.00 -19.00 hours, Sat: 10.00-18.00 hours

Leica Galerie Wien
1010 Wien, Walfischgasse 1
Tel: +43 1 236 74 87
Email: office@leicastore-wien.at
Öffnungszeiten: Mo-Fr 10-19, Sa 10-18 h

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