International exhibitions

International Archives 2nd half of 2015

Wim Wenders, Time Capsules. By the side of the road

Blain | Southern Berlin (Germany)

17.09 - 14.11.2015

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Wim Wenders, Time Capsules. By the side of the road, Blain | Southern Berlin

Press Release

Blain|Southern Berlin is delighted to present new and recent photographs by Wim Wenders, the artist’s first exhibition in his hometown in over half a decade. The exhibition brings together images of Germany and America – the two countries that have most influenced the artist throughout his career.


© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2015. All Rights Reserved

The exhibition’s title Time Capsules. By the side of the road alludes to the relationship between memory and photography, highlighting the ability of photographs to act as a medium that captures an essence of the past and preserves it for the future.

In the gallery’s main space, urban and natural landscapes exist in dialogue, as panoramic photographs of the countryside surrounding Berlin stand in relation to images of the city in flux during the early 1990s. The jungle of cranes, metal and concrete in Potsdamer Platz (1995) is starkly mirrored by the dense foliage depicted in Forest in Brandenburg (2014).

Landscape near Wittenberge, Germany (2014) recalls the mood of Romantic paintings from the 18th and 19th Century, with trees akin to those of Camille Corot or Caspar David Friedrich. Growing up in Dusseldorf in the post-war period, Wenders was surrounded by rubble and the traces of destruction, and remembers the prints of French and Dutch landscape paintings that lined his parents’ walls, “which showed a whole unknown aspect of the world” to him. Another photograph, The Elbe River near Dömitz (2014), depicts the reverse angle of a river as captured by Wenders forty years ago in his film ‘In the Course of Time’ (Im Lauf der Zeit).

The artist describes how the scale of these works aims to “transport people to those places in the world that I found and liked; photographs give me a chance to take the places to them”.

As such his newest panorama, at four and a half metres in width, depicts the epic landscape of the American West – an area that Wenders has extensively and famously examined through both film and photography.

Several of the works in the exhibition feature places that have long-since changed, the images themselves therefore becoming portals into lost moments or spaces. Wenders speaks of how: I see myself as an interpreter, as a translator, a guardian […] of stories that places tell me.”

In the upstairs gallery, smaller-scale prints depict multifarious stories from Germany and America; a giant mountain of salt overlooks an eerily-quiet town; a perforated cinema screen stands disused and abandoned; a woman rests alone at the end of an American saloon bar.

The exhibition fosters a dialogue between the two countries in which Wenders has spent extensive periods of time living and working: “I think I had wide-open eyes for America, and ‘the American landscape’ in a general sense seemed extremely attractive to me, both as a photographer and filmmaker. Maybe the long absence from Germany of 15 years has enabled me to see places here with the same wide-open eyes. What has remained the same: in those landscapes, German or American, I’m still looking for the traces of civilization, of history, or people.”

Exhibition 17 September - 14 November 2015. Blain | Southern Berlin, Potsdamer Straße 77–87 - 10785 Berlin (Germany). Tel.: +49 (0)30 6449 31510. Opening hours: Tue-Sat 11-18h.