Andreas Gursky

"Reality can only be shown by constructing it."

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Gursky

re-opens the Hayward Gallery in London.

Third time lucky: first time, I went to the gallery a week before the show opened; the second time, I went on the one day of the week the gallery is closed (Tuesdays) but last week I finally struck gold and managed to get a ticket to see this exhibition (very popular; I would recommend booking a ticket in advance). One of the advantages of the Hayward Gallery in the Southbank Centre is that there is a lot of natural light flooding through the roof. It is unusual to see art in natural light which shifts during the day. The renovations are not obvious but once inside you can feel the natural flow of light and of the space. A great spot to see an exhibition. On to Andreas Gursky: truth be told, originally I was not a fan of his work. I had seen some of his work in books and in articles online and on paper. It all seemed rather artificial to me - but most art is meant to be seen in the flesh so to speak. The scale of his work, for which he is particularly known, and the details of his photographs must be seen in person to have its intended effect. His pictures raise some of the key issues of our time (the environment, our materialistic society, over population, etc.) but it is up to us to interpret as we wish his pictures. Most of his photographs are either packed with details or seem at first blush to be minimalistic - in a sense they are all both at once. It takes some time to process what we see. Many of his photographs have become iconic (eg Amazon's warehouse in Phoenix, Arizona) and we think we have "got them" because we have seen them in print; it is only when standing in front of the actual photograph that the scale of our society's excess and waste is truly appreciated. So yes, as Gursky says: " Reality can only be shown by constructing it". 

Below is a short video of the exhibition; I hope you'll have a chance to actually see the exhibition.