This exhibition includes Hans Peter Feldmann’s (Dusseldorf, Germany, 1941) most representative works, from the Seventies until today. Fascinated by the few images that he found around him during the German post-war period, he begins to collect them, cut them out and stick them in albums, something he continues to do. From his earliest pieces, Feldmann organises his images into series and the effect his collection produces is abundant, which leads him to produce numerous series of photographs such as the Time series where he collects, like film photo stills, trivial facts. There is not normally anything extraordinary in them, only the invisible flow of time which has been stopped in order to be examined. Feldmann subsequently expands his reflection in the book 100 Years, a series of 101 photographic portraits of his family or friends who are aged between eight months and 100 years. Feldmann presents images that are materially poor and aesthetically undefined, as if he wanted to force the limits of their expressive qualities, facing social space covered with superlative images and touched up to encourage consumption.
In his work the artist keeps an emotional distance with the spectator, allowing them to give the pieces their own meaning, as in All the clothes of a woman: A series of 70 pieces of women's clothing, displayed one by one, or in the car radios series Car radio when good music is playing.
Feldmann commonly uses media to gather collective experiences. His book Die Toten (The Dead) (1967-1993), is a comprehensive collection of images without any comments, made up of pictures taken from the press of all the people who died in the confrontation between terrorists and government forces in Germany during this period. Feldmann has also published several magazines that consist of images without text such as Ohio and Cahier d'images. In the late 90s he is able to convince Profil, a Viennese weekly opinion magazine, to publish an issue exactly the same, with only photos and no text to interpret them.
To Feldmann art "is never the object itself" but what is produced in our brains because of it in using installations where shadows move in close and then move away on a wall, a result of the lighting from a rotary table full of dolls and objects. The tables are fairly cluttered and there are pieces left over from a montage. It is a trick of the eye, but it is still magical. They are shadows that take us back to our childhood, where any image could be a window into another world.
Collection artworks included in the exhibition
Museo Reina Sofía Publications