Próba atlasu fizjonomicznego pewnej epoki. Ludzie XX wieku Augusta Sandera
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August Sander (1876-1964) was a German photographer working in Cologne. In the early 20’ of the last century he came up with an original idea to create a work of art which in a form of an atlas would show all kinds of people, jobs and social groups of the Weimar Republic. Initially the work entitled „The People of the XX the century” was to consist of 7 portfolios of portrait photographs, each devoted to one social class. However it was never to be published, nor finished by the author due to political circumstances of the Hitler rule and the World War II. In my essay I wanted to describe the general concept behind Sander’s work, inspirations both artistic and scientific. I intended to look into the question of photography considered as a document and therefore believed to be the most objective means of representation. I inquire into the nature of portrait photography: whether it is a mere record of one’s individual presence, or perhaps it shows something more general, a „face of that time”, or a „type” of a person, making reference to the images we carry in our minds. Finally, I wanted to draw attention to Sander’s skill and distinctive attentiveness that enabled him to take portraits that still capture our eyes and make us wonder about the past and people who lived in it.
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