Saturday, May 29, 2021

Past: Wolfgang Tillmans

"The promise of Tillmans' photographs is that maybe we too are lives worthy of documentation if only our own humdrum was given the micro-attention of such a lovely eye, then we too could be seen, could be seen as worthy, placed on walls, actually be seen. It's a base human impulse, the need to be recognized. Tillmans' eye fills with the promise of this possibility, of someone loving you no matter how banal, which is why all Tillmans' photographs seem to come pulled from a drawer in your parent's house and seeing yourself 30 years younger: the photos aren't great but they come with hammering benevolence attended to creatures we care for, a walloping nostalgia that Tillmans has found as immediate packaging: that the inherently elegiac medium also promises preservation of someone's sight of you. Which is maybe why Tillman's always evokes comfortable denim, this base advertorial promise of finally of someone finally seeing you because your butt finally looks good packaged by the right hand and someone will love you."

"Tillmans the great tenderizer"

"an offhand nicety whose cheapness and disposability Tillmans weights against all the other offhand 'cheap' snapshots of humans about their lives. Placing stake that you cannot dispose the saccharine abstraction without throwing out the people, humans. "If one thing matters, everything matters." And so they are like sunsets, both the near endless regurgitations of saccharine accident, cliche. Incidental returns of arbitrary conditions, completely unique and, like people, endlessly the same. A triple-point of beauty, arbitrariness, meaning. And perhaps meaning, our affection for the blushes, only appears as ward against inversion: If even one doesn't matter, nothing matters. Our fear."

Click for full:Wolfgang Tillmans at Galerie BuchholzWolfgang Tillmans at Daniel BuchholzWolfgang Tillmans at David ZwirnerWolfgang Tillmans at Maureen Paley