Anton Corbijn‘s days at Fotografiska have brought the longed-for old school rock memories to Stockholm and it has also reminded us of the vast possibilities of different elements in the photographic vocabulary, like visual metaphors, analogies, symbolism and realism.
The Dutch photographer brought to Fotografiska a couple of hundred music photographs, if we should call them that. You will not find portraits of musicians at work, or live concert shots like we normally would find when a photographer and a musician cross paths. Here we find instead, artist collaborations and the emergence of a dual-channeled art, that both has sound and is visual. Corbjin plays a melody that musicians depict and we the spectators get transported to a new audiovisual dimension where rock n’ roll sounds to the beat of bold and contrasted, black and white photographs.
Most of you would recognise his work from covers of magazines with the faces of the likes of David Bowie, Kurt Cobain, Rolling Stones, R.E.M. or Metallica, just to mention a few. Or perhaps you’ll recall and cherish his creative set-ups for the visual concepts in albums by U2 and Depeche Mode. Many of the photos in this exhibition haven’t been published before but are from the same photo shoots as some iconic album covers and music video productions.
A few of his music videos have also made it to this exhibition such as Nirvana‘s Heart Shaped Box, Metallica’s Hero of the Day, It’s No Good by Depeche Mode, plus more.
An old-school-rocker/music-lover like myself will have been marked by the way Corbijn‘s photographs and videos broke down the boundaries between rock bands and artists and their audiences. He let us in to that space that had before been forbidden, that space where the musicians are stripped of their instruments and microphones, where they are also human-beings and they have scars, they are worn out, and they chill out. Sometimes they continue creating and have their creative souls showing in physical form. This and more is what you’ll encounter in this very loaaded and satitisfying exhibit showing a part of Corbijn‘s work that extends over several decades.
We can simply say that… It rocks!.
We leave you with one of Anton Corbijn‘s most emblematic videos, Nirvana‘s Heart Shaped Box.