Essens-Bilder : über die Bedeutung des Essens in der Fotografie

Dieser Beitrag stellt die ästhetisch-gestalterischen Möglichkeiten der Fotografie in punkto Essen in den Mittelpunkt. Eine Betrachtung über die bildliche Darstellung des Essens innerhalb der Fotografie impliziert zugleich eine kulturgeschichtliche Betrachtung des Essens.

Starting with the first splendid still lives from Jan Davidsz in the 17th century via Archimboldos’ manner-ist portraits of vegetables and fish as well as Daniel Spoerris’ “Eat-Art” projects to Wolfgang Tillman’s still lives of everyday-life; food and nutrition have been represented in art and commerce throughout the last 500 years. Food and its presentation are popular with all kinds of artists. What is so attractive about dealing with the idea of food? What are the considerations and what does their artistic realization look like within a photographic context: a medium that is more closely connected to reality than any other? To the present day, photography has been connected to reality by means of a technical apparatus, even if the digital possibilities of designing a fictional reality influence broad areas of contemporary photography. Terms like truth and fidelity of reproduction determine the theoretical discourse of photography morethan ever. The concept of “Photographie Sichten” is dedicated, in this second issue, to an exhibition project with the title “having been there”: the temporal and spacial connection of photography where reality is implied within almost every picture. On the basis of this media and art-historical observation of photography, a multi- faceted array of photographies arises, dealing with the depiction of food and food intake. This depiction touches on many aspects of commercial and non-commercial photography. Without a doubt the sensual moment- lust and joy- plays an important part in this process. Nevertheless, the culinary features of food and their aesthetic presentation are not the only motivation for the imagery. Dining and drinking are means of social interaction and thereby express personal, regional and cultural ideas on a national scale. Hence, images are created which, in themselves, reflect the close connection of everyday life in their depiction of food and food intake. A vast variety of approaches can be found, ranging from the classic still lives, documentation of an “objet trouvé” to commercial shots and typical food photography. Disregarding the period in which they were taken, it is obvious how closely related historical and contemporary food photography can be, and how the one continues to permeate the other.

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