the photographic journal

.

Robert Frank

Robert Frank Expo

Fujifilm X100S © 2016 Miguel Witte

The first time I heard about Robert Frank was when I read Annie Leibovitz´s book “At Work”:

“I was in awe of Robert Frank. Here was a great master. I couldn´t believe that I was able to watch him work for a few days, that I was actually in the room where Robert Frank was loading his camera. He picked up my camera once. I was terrified. He held it. It was like being with God. He said to me, “You can´t get every picture.” That was comforting advice. You do miss things. You´re attached to this machine. To it´s timing. Things are moving in front of you and you are supposed to capture them, but it´s not always possible. Robert Frank didn´t seem to be missing anything, though. He was tireless. He never stopped working” (p.33)

This summer I had the chance to become more familiar with the work of Robert Frank. During our stay in Essen, Germany we visited the Robert Frank exhibition at Folkwang Museum. It was not the typical exhibition – walking respectfully through rooms where framed photos were hanging on the wall conveying the message that one is viewing a piece of art.

Robert Frank Expo

Fujifilm X100S © 2016 Miguel Witte

Instead there were series of Robert Frank photos printed on large newspaper-like sheets of paper and these were put on the walls of the hallways in the museum building. I was told that Robert Frank himself wished his photos to be displayed that way and, yes, it gave a very informal air to the exhibition. It was street-photography displayed on the hallway-streets of a museum, printed on newspaper-paperrolls, everything very much in style and coherent.

Robert Frank Expo

Fujifilm X100S © 2016 Miguel Witte

In addition to that, the German newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung” published an issue devoted entirely to Robert Frank, which could be purchased at the museum.

At home we enjoyed going through “The Americans”. The volume contains 83 frames out of 23000 negatives. This itself offers an amazing insight into the creative process. It is a truly unique book in may regards.

Robert Frank Expo

Fujifilm X100S © 2016 Miguel Witte

.