The Iconication exhibition of the German portraitist Anatol Kotte is an extensive presentation of almost four decades of his creative oeuvre. Since 1981, when the 18-year-old Kotte applied for the position of a photographer’s assistant in a local studio, through many years of cooperation with socio-cultural magazines such as Tempo or Wiener, he has extended his portfolio of images comprising representatives of the world of culture, politics and show-business. His subjects are all mass imagination protagonists, whose profound portraits have become the photographer’s hallmark.
By choosing Iconication – which is also the title of the album published in 2015 and a summa of his works – for the title of the exhibition Kotte complicates reception of seemingly easy, mainstream images. He consciously refers the audience to a polysemic term ‘icon’, which is the key to understanding the method and results of his work. Many thoughts, few frame – is his short description of the analytical and empathic process that precedes the act of pressing the shutter.
The word ‘icon’ comes from the Greek eikon, indicating the similarity but also distinctiveness of what we see from what de facto was and is presented. How does the process of multiplication and mass distribution of pictures change “real” face expressions by replacing them with series of new faces? What is so special in the aura of protagonists of glossy magazines, large-format posters and hundreds of images spread on the Internet? To what extent their goodwill is a function of identity mediation, which every photographer-portraitist inevitably engages in?
Spending time with another person and establishing a deeper relationship with them is crucial in creating a good portrait – says Kotte, emphasising the importance of building a relation with the subject in the creative process. The catalogue of personalities portrayed by Kotte includes Geraldine Chaplin, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Goldblum, Florence Welch, Diana Krall and Rihanna, as well as prominent representatives of the German world of culture, politics, sport and show-business such as Angela Merkel, Gerhard Schroeder, Joachim Glauck and Til Schwiger.
The exhibition in the Fort Institute of Photography is the first presentation of Anatol Kotte’s works in Poland. It comprises almost 80 portraits of the key representatives of modern Germany’s cultural world.
The exhibition was organised with the support of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Warsaw.
Sponsors of the exhibition: mBank, White Stone Development
Opening: Decebmer 7, 2018 (Friday), 7 PM
Admission fee during the opening: free
Admission fee 8.12.2018 – 27.01.2019: 7 PLN