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  • Roberta Valtorta - Beat Streuli
    code that binds them together through the seriality that dominates them the flow of the sequence the alternation of solids and voids and the rhythm and cadence of the projection Each figure is alone in its solitude and sometimes in its alienation a fragment of space and time carved from a multitude yet it is closely linked to others in its similarity and again in its extraneousness to others possibly the most distinctive form of metropolitan social interaction in a sort of script that sustains them all and gives them meaning Streuli s work is thus a long chant a ritual musical score the trace of an electrocardiogram sending forth the magic and impromptu poetry of the human face with all its expressions the surprise of the manwoman animal s body observed as it lives and moves in the light of days spent in the city A face body that appears to us as visible and as clear as ever unique and extraordinary despite the fact that the artist s strategy shows it as one of the many countless face bodies in the world it becomes even all the more significant as it is a small element that forms part of an immeasurable whole The people that Beat Streuli isolates from the urban flow and shows us in his composition montages are never photographed while doing something particular nor during some special moment of their lives In these images there are none of those events that would make a reporter s day for Beat Streuli does not go out in search of special scenes nor does he describe them but simply follows his plan of recording images of people in the crowd He thus dismantles the decisive moment that constitutes the utopia of classic photography the capacity of the photographer to capture fleeting moments that will never return in terms of the uniqueness of the event and the perfect rendering of the scene in an instantaneous convergence of the photographer s expert eye and the click of the camera Beat Streuli never shows off his skill but with his egalitarian democratic vision he cuts out a whole series of ordinary moments revealing faces gestures poses looks and clothes dictated by the laws of fashion and consumerism The same is true of hairstyles accessories electronic gadgets and in the flow of images also fragments excerpts of the urban setting In most cases these people do not know they are being photographed and the figures who are often young are seen from very close up in every detail thanks to his use of a telephoto lens The figures are not placed in wide open settings rather each is positioned in the exclusive rectangle that frames them precisely cut to size These are social figures manifestly captured in public places and yet at the same time caught in a fleeting moment of private life in the intimacy of their thoughts It is through this convergence of public and private that their truth and

    Original URL path: http://www.beatstreuli.com/roberta-valtorta.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Andreas Fiedler - Beat Streuli
    Bilder zeigen jene spezifische Situation die heute zumindest für den urbanen Menschen als geradezu archetypisch bezeichnet werden kann wartend am Steuer eines Autos zu sitzen Warten bis die Ampel grün wird warten bis alle Fussgänger die Strasse überquert haben warten bis sich der stockende Verkehr irgendwann wieder aufzulösen beginnt Beat Streuli fotografierte die im Stau wartenden Autofahrer im Augenblick dieser erzwungenen Ruhe Seine auf die Gesichter fokussierten Aufnahmen geben eine Ahnung davon wie sich genau in diesem Moment die Bewegung gewissermassen nach innen verlagert wie die Autofahrer mit ihren Gedanken abschweifen und sich selbstvergessen irgendwo verlieren Der im Stau festsitzende Autofahrer wird als projiziertes Bild an der Wand sichtbar um sich einige Sekunden später in der Überblendung des nächsten Bildes zu verflüchtigen Die gereizte Hektik eines Staus bremsen warten anfahren bremsen warten ist hier wie weggeblasen Das Nervenaufreibende der im Bild festgehaltenen Szenen transformiert Beat Streuli mit seiner Präsentationsform in einen Moment der stillen Gedankenverlorenheit und einer um sich greifenden Entschleunigung Der Betrachter wird in einen ruhigen Rhythmus versetzt und gerät in den suggestiven Sog der Bilder sein Blick tastet die Oberflächen der Karosserien ab versucht bei den hinter spiegelnden Autoscheiben gerade noch erkennbaren Personen einen Gesichtsausdruck zu erfassen und schon kommt das nächste Bild das wie eine Wiederholung des immer Gleichen zu sein scheint Der Titel Quai de l Industrie benennt den Ort in Brüssel an dem Beat Streuli unzählige Aufnahmen machte die er dann einer rigiden Kontrolle unterzog Auch die vereinzelt in die Reihe eingestreuten Fotografien vorbeigehender Passanten sind an jener Kreuzung entstanden die sich in unmittelbarer Nähe seines Ateliers befindet Die Bilder der zufällig in den Bereich der Kamera geratenen Autofahrer fokussieren das individuelle Gesicht und betonen gleichzeitig das imaginär Allgemeine Sie stehen prototypisch für Erfahrungen und für ein Lebensgefühl in einer urbanen Gesellschaft es bleibt nichts

    Original URL path: http://www.beatstreuli.com/andreas-fiedler.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Katerina Gregos - Beat Streuli
    difference but not in the politicized sense of the word At the same time Streuli s photos give an idea of the increasing heterogeneity of the modern metropolis and the cultural hybridity of the melting pot that is Brussels a veritable multi racial multi lingual city where one easily finds a hip modern bar occupied by young people from all over the world and a Moroccan tea shop populated only by Arab males all within a couple of metres of each other In a city where approximately more than one third of the population is of foreign origin these different communities seem to co exist without the flammable tension that is found say in the Parisian banlieues Culturally immigrants and their descendants have both adapted to the local culture and enriched it Without wanting in any way to suggest that there are no social problems springing from racial or ethnic issues the idea of the global village somehow seems to work in Brussels better than in other cities where racial tensions are more amplified and ethnic communities suffer to large degrees from disenchantment and frustration In Brussels there is a unique situation where people of diverse ethnic backgrounds and religions live very close to each other physically and intermingle on a daily basis there are no ghettoes a high degree of tolerance and a sense that this heterogeneity is a given fact what constitutes the Brussels experience Though Streuli s work is so rich in visual information so pictorially descriptive in fact much of it s essence lies in the physical specifics of clothes fabrics and accessories in addition to the physical and spatial relationships that manifest themselves in the urban environment it paradoxically defies straightforward explanation It is impossible to consume these images in one go to immediately interpret them their very strength lies in the fact that they remain opaque and open ended As Streuli does not set up his scenes and is in no position to control them whatever meaning resides in his work thus not programmatic but rather contingent As viewers we are witness to a body of images that draw attention more to themselves than to their maker though no author of course can be entirely transparent These are by no means psychological portraits which attempt to capture the subject s soul nor do the images intend to tell a story or document a social thesis on the contrary their meaning remains immanent reinforcing at the same time the truism that it is impossible to know people at face value Nevertheless this writer would like to draw some entirely subjective conclusions after having looked at Streuli work closely Though the people in it do not talk they have a lot to say What exactly That the reality surrounding us has become more fractured and complex that people appear to be more alienated from each other as well as from the space that surrounds them that we are all looking around us less perceptively that even while we look we may not see that our gaze has become either self conscious or introverted and that we are reluctant to direct it for fear of causing offence that contemporary life in the public arena has become less engaged and more autistic that we all conduct ourselves less as part of a social whole and more as individual monads cut off from what happens around us Already at the beginning of the twentieth century the German sociologist Georg Simmel talked about the relationship of the metropolis and mental life formulated the idea of the stranger as a form of sociality and claimed that the characteristic experience of the modern city is living among strangers who remain strangers According to Simmel the city conspires to erase difference by assaulting the individual with an overwhelming and never ending stream of visual stimuli thus causing distance reserve and indifference At the same time Simmel also spoke of the freedom strangeness and alterity as social conditions also afford the city dweller Streuli s work is in many ways a reflection of these ideas which are equally relevant today But his work can also be seen as being symptomatic of the evolution of modern life but also of the social consequences of globalisation and of the encounters chance or not that occur as a result Simultaneously his photographs allude to the increasing homogenisation the physical characteristics of urban space regardless of location are more or less interchangeable in Streuli s photos and the uniformity of contemporary urban experience One can also relate Streuli s work to that of sociologist and urban theorist Richard Sennett and his notions of urbanity as defined by difference diversity density strangers complexity hybridity all of which are inferred in Streuli s practice Among other things Sennett maintains that urbanity begins as bodily experience by seeing the other and being in physical proximity to it Urbanity has therefore to be seen as an environment of the senses as it is something people physically experience directly It relates to bodily movement how people navigate space and manoeuvre in relation to each other and how they employ body language and engage in visual contact Sennett has claimed that in the space of diversity people become more of one another Perhaps that is in a sense true but what is probably more true is his idea that difference also leads to indifference In these zones of potential socialization where interaction might occur there is instead a sense of disinterest Though Streuli comes from a fine art background his work fits into the long tradition of that distinct art form called street photography and can be related to photographers as diverse as Walker Evans Helen Levitt Lewis Hine Gary Winogrand Eugene Atget Henri Cartier Bresson Andre Kertesz Lee Friedlander Streuli s work is much in line with the realist conventions of street photography and with its most defining characteristics freezing the fluidity of the moment the significant gesture that is part of the

    Original URL path: http://www.beatstreuli.com/80.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Assia Nail - Beat Streuli
    le personnage au premier plan Elles cachent en réalité une démarche complexe fruit d une longue réflexion et d une approche enrichie au fur et à mesure des années Car depuis les premières vidéos prises à New York en 1994 qui affirmaient l ancrage de l artiste dans l héritage de la Street Photography son travail s est approfondi et la rigueur acquise lui a permis d unifier la forme de ses travaux et de perfectionner son discours en le transposant à d autres villes En effet si le nom de la ville photographiée est précisé dans le titre de ses photographies il ne fait qu indiquer l anonymat de ces lieux aucun indice visuel n étant donné Débarrassés de tout contexte national les portraits volés et particulièrement expressifs de Streuli renforcent la vision des sujets dans leur individualité Si la célébration de l anonymat de Thomas Ruff dans les portraits d identités géants donnait une vision négative et orwellienne des temps à venir la position de Streuli semble se situer plutôt du côté de Jeff Wall moins victimaire et teintée d une confiance en l autonomie du sujet par rapport à son environnement Les regards absents vaguement contrariés ou au contraire souriants évoquent une mise en absence temporaire et suggèrent nos prédispositions à nous extraire des carcans de la culture de masse Streuli n a jamais été élève des Becher Son déménagement partiel à Düsseldorf est tardif et il est déjà artiste confirmé à ce moment Dans l exposition Objectivités il est pourtant celui qui semble le plus proche du programme de Bernd et Hilla Becher En effet la proximité de démarche est grande entre l inventaire formel des Becher et les prélèvements visuels de Streuli La méthode choisie par l artiste suisse pour procéder à l extraction du

    Original URL path: http://www.beatstreuli.com/81.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Doris Krystof - Beat Streuli
    aufmontiert gerahmt und an den Wänden installiert werden Gebräuchlicher und typischer für ihn sind aber großformatige Prints in Plexiglaskästen wandfüllende Plakatierungen auf Billboards in Serie aufgezogene Poster oder auf Glasscheiben montierte Folien Nicht selten gelangen die Bilder genau an den Ort zurück wo sie entstanden sind im öffentlichen Raum in der Nähe von Werbung Konsum Freizeit und Unterhaltung Da das Bilderarchiv mit jeder weiteren Reise kontinuierlich wächst kommt es bisweilen zur Wiederaufnahme von Motiven Aus dem reichhaltigen Fundus seinem Album wie Streuli sagt können einzelne Motive ausgesucht und wie Module verwendet werden die in immer wieder neuen Varianten und Kontexten erscheinen Dabei ergeben sich Zeitverschränkungen die sich in Werkangaben wie beispielsweise Brüssel 97 2005 spiegeln und den Aspekt des ephemeren Aufführungscharakters von Streulis Installationen betonen Bekanntlich ist Roland Barthes in seiner Fotografiestudie auf den genuinen Zusammenhang von Fotografie und Tod zu sprechen gekommen Im Hinblick einer Beschreibung der Wirkung von Streulis Fotografien ist es nicht uninteressant zu bemerken dass Barthes dabei den Umweg über das Theater gewählt hat da dieses unmittelbarer noch als die Fotografie die Zeitdimension betrifft Barhes betont dass sich die Fotografie nicht über die Malerei mit der Kunst berühre sondern über das Theater Die Camera obscura hat im ganzen gesehen die perspektivische Malerei ebenso wie die PHOTOGRAPHIE wie auch das Diorama hervorgebracht und alle drei sind Künste der Bühne wenn ich aber die PHOTOGRAPHIE in engerem Zusammenhang mit dem Theater sehe so aufgrund einer eigentümlichen Vermittlung vielleicht bin ich dere einzige der das so sieht der des TODES Die ursprüngliche Beziehung zwischen Theater und TOTENKULT ist bekannt Die gleiche Beziehung finde ich nun in der PHOTOGRAPHIE wieder auch wenn man sich bemüht in ihr etwas Lebendiges zu sehen und diese Verbissenheit mit der man Lebensnähe herzustellen sucht kann nur die mythische Verleugnung eines Unbehagens gegenüber dem Tod sein so ist die PHOTOGRAPHIE doch eine Art urtümlichen Theaters eine Art von Lebendem Bild die bildliche Darstellung des reglos geschminkten Gesichtes in der wir die Toten sehen Eine besondere Rolle in Streulis Bilder Theater spielt das bewegte Bild Mehr noch als die fotografischen Momentaufnahmen und auch ganz anders als die Videoarbeiten die in Echtzeit das Geschehen an einer bestimmten Straßenecke dokumentieren vermitteln die Diainstallationen die Erfahrung von Zeitlichkeit Als wandfüllende Projektion im abgedunkelten Raum ahmt das Dahinziehen der Bilder fremder Passanten in Tempo und Rhythmus den constant flow von Menschenmengen im öffentlichen Raum nach Allein die schiere Größe der Diaprojektionen wirkt immersiv vermittelt das Gefühl man stünde mitten im Geschehen Kaum hat man ein interessantes Gesicht aus der Masse herausgefischt ist es wieder verschwunden Individuelle Details wie persönliche Accessoires eigenwillig festgesteckte Haarspangen oder ein eigenartiger Stil den Schal zu binden springen ins Auge und gehen umgehend im Fluss der vorüberziehenden Bilder unter lautlos und auf beinahe magische Weise Bis weit in die 1990er Jahre war die künstlerische Verwendung von Diaprojektionen etwa bei Marcel Broodthaers oder Fischli Weiss aber auch bei Beat Streuli selbst durch das notorische Klicken des Dia Karussels geprägt wodurch die technische Apparatur der Bildpräsentation ebenso akzentuiert

    Original URL path: http://www.beatstreuli.com/82.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Gegory Volk - Beat Streuli
    instinctual and improvisational he photographs people and things that quickly catch his eye for whatever peculiar reasons He also has an uncanny ability to catch his public subjects who are unaware they re being photographed in remarkably private idiosyncratic moments which can sometimes take on large social implications A businessman in New York wears a gray suit coat that s oddly askew one of his shoulders is slightly higher than the other his head tilts at an almost uncomfortable angle and his tie also seems a little off kilter His whole outfit and bearing should communicate wealth and authority but worry and disarray seem to be infiltrating his power persona This image from 2000 also anticipates the economic troubles and corporate scandals that have wracked America during the last several years Two ultra trendy young women in Bangkok walk along while simultaneously rummaging through their handbags They re distracted by their possessions and you get the uncomfortable feeling that their lives may indeed consist entirely of fashion and possessions In Sydney a young white guy with a bag slung over his shoulder passes a young Asian guy with a similar bag slung over his shoulder and they re both wearing what appear to be identical pants Their clothes announce they re from the same social milieu but they don t look at each other and this lack of acknowledgment evokes the complexities of contemporary Australia where an influx of Asian immigrants abuts a centrally European heritage In Tokyo a young woman wearing a blue scarf gazes intently to the left She seems intelligent intense hopeful and also a bit skeptical but you have no idea if she is looking at something essential or looking at nothing in particular as she considers something deep in her mind Streuli s images are typically suggestive and ambiguous and precisely because they so often depict people in transition they effectively conjure an entire roiling era marked by restlessness wandering speed and displacement This is something that Streuli s various techniques only augment Presented next to each other on the wall in the manner of filmstrips one photograph always leads to the next and then the next Just as you re absorbing one image your eyes always move to another so that everything seems at once vivid and fleeting In Streuli s slide projections or slow motion video projections each person always fades to the next and there s something downright haunting about this cycle of presence and absence which evokes inevitable loss lost friends missed chances connections that didn t pan out but also more implicitly mortality Throughout Streuli s work each image in a series taken in a particular city is meant to be relational each refers to the others like parts of a code each is part of a continuum One is drawn to this language of shifting nuances gestures glances and gaits which seems to hold such potential meaning yet which also proves maddeningly elusive and indeed one is drawn to

    Original URL path: http://www.beatstreuli.com/84.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Vincent Katz - Beat Streuli
    voyeur using a telephoto lens sometimes ensconced inside a cafe while photographing people passing outside By not entering into a personal relationship with his subjects he captures them in their natural unguarded state From this omniscient position he makes significant choices He chooses not to highlight people s awkward failures of composure but rather their graceful normality He comes close to seeing the animal in people that part of them that is incapable of wrongdoing Streuli grants his subjects their native grace partially by the way he frames them Streuli s gestures show an awareness of Renaissance techniques for depicting movement and his compositions are classical Look at the first image of this book The way this man is gracefully turning his body left hand at his hip the slight inclination of the head the focus in his expression all combine to render an image of a man confronting reality with a calm readiness while in movement through the city If we choose to press the animal analogy with its concomitant vision of the city as a forest or jungle then again we see these figures as necessarily prepared for the unpredictable Because Streuli sees without being seen it is almost as if we are given access to the interior mental workings of his walkers They inhabit the moment in which awareness and absorption are seamlessly blended Streuli s ability to keep background and foreground elements in sync is uncanny and he is equally at home with single or multiple subjects He perceives interactions between people with the same delicacy he lavishes on solo subjects In the fourth image of the FIRST series the action of taking a chip from a bag proffered by a friend is rendered with a grace and subtlety normally reserved for moments of the greatest intimacy In fact it is the greatness of mundane intimacy between people that Streuli stresses The painter John Sloan did not like the Ash Can label affixed to his work and that of his associates who came to notice as The Eight with their 1908 exhibition at the Macbeth Gallery in New York He said The subjects I found for the paintings were bits of joy in human life 2 Streuli s bits of joy are as based in the commonplace as were Sloan s As someone who began as an illustrator Sloan liked to make wry observations of human nature in his prints in the mode of William Hogarth or Honoré Daumier In his paintings though Sloan and his contemporary George Bellows were content to let themselves drift in the colored pulse of New York s streets They let paint have its life just as Streuli allows shadows and background elements to spread and soften Streuli comes after the epoch of cool which began in the 1950s and continued through the 1960s That demeanor determined that people can arrive in a picture as individuals with social specificity that can be appreciated but with no reducible message This surface seeing

    Original URL path: http://www.beatstreuli.com/85.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Jeremy Millar - Beat Streuli
    it also has the effect of isolating the figure within that space which remains visible a point of definition when all else is diffuse and uncertain It is as though even amongst so much so many the figure stands alone There is a sense of relief or freedom to be found in surrendering to the crowd certainly as Elias Canetti famously pointed out and yet as Simmel also observed it Ôis obviously only the obverse of this freedom that under certain circumstances one never feels as lonely and as deserted as in this metropolitan crush of persons Streuli s use of the telephoto lens is interesting in another sense a sense which affects the appearance of his images certainly and which also relates interestingly to the urban experience particularly as Simmel saw it In a recent interview Streuli described the process by which he makes his pictures I like to be flexible in the way I take pictures I do not use a tripod and I move around in the crowd of which I am myself part Therefore it is a constant back and forth being closer and more distant sometimes concentrating just on a face sometimes on a couple or a group of people Here too I try to preserve the dynamics of the street and my way of using the camera tries to approximate as much as possible the way we see focussing on details opening up to wider angles and composing all these very short fragmented impressions into a larger mental picture The telephoto lens which allows Streuli such freedom to shift his sight so easily through the crowd is in many ways simply a technical manifestation of another important characteristic of urban life as Simmel saw it that of the stranger The unity of nearness and remoteness involved in every human relation is organised in the phenomena of the stranger in a way which may be most briefly formulated by saying that in the relationship to him distance means that he who is close by is far and strangeness means that he who is also far is actually near For to be a stranger is naturally a very positive relation it is a specific form of interaction Õ Perhaps we might see this specific form of interaction as Simmel describes it in his classic essay The Stranger 1908 within the work of Streuli then The sense of a relationship is important here for as Simmel notes The stranger É is an element of the group itself His position as a full fledged member involves both being outside it and confronting it It is a role which I believe describes StreuliÕs position well He is part of the crowd through which he moves as he acknowledged in the interview quoted above and yet he is somehow apart from it he is involved and yet involved differently from everyone else he is close to the inhabitants of the city and yet it is not his city Streuli is

    Original URL path: http://www.beatstreuli.com/86.html (2016-02-15)
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