Mediating Between the Visible and the Invisible: Wim Wenders on Photography

Film director Wim Wenders discusses his work as a photographer and his interest in photography, explaining how Digital photography has altered our relationship to transience. Wenders makes reference to his early films Alice in the Cities, where the photographer was a visionary, through to one of his most recent, Palermo Shooting, where the photographer is no longer present in the experience of what is shot, rather thinking ahead, more concerned with how to Photoshop and Digitally alter an image.

Wenders has taken photographs most of his life, and though a pioneer of German Digital cinema, Wenders still refuses to use a digital camera for his photography.

“Over the times I’ve done some digital experiments myself, even with photography. But in the end I gave all these Digital cameras away because I didn’t know what to do with them. I just didn’t know what to do with these things that make time disappear. For me the privilege of photography lies very distinctly in the possibility or the obligation of being here now. To cherish the moment, to enjoy that, which can just happen if you wait half an hour till the light changes. That makes it even more valuable. I am glad to be able to do photography. Since I took up photography I am a much more content person.”

For Wenders photography was a way to deal with the transience of life, where “pictures are mediators, messengers, translators between the visible and the invisible.”

The interview was recorded in Berlin in 2008, and though there are a few typos in the sub-titles, it is a thought provoking interview.

Previously on Dangerous Minds

Room 666: Wim Wenders asks fellow Directors about the State of Cinema, from 1982


Posted by Paul Gallagher
06:39 pm



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