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BodyCathedrals. Dieter Blum's Photography
(Ludwig Museum in the Russian Museum)

27 November 2003 - 01 February 2004
The Benois Wing

Dieter Blum's "BodyCathedrals" exhibition introduces oeuvre by the famous German documentalist press photographer, traveller, adventurer, and widely known artist-photographer, whose works bear the spirit of freedom, insouciance, and enthusiasm. The title of the exhibition - BodyCathedrals - shows certain "sacral" intonation of the exhibition. In the centre of all Blum's works is "a work of art called Man". Through this the artist brings back reverence, respect, and admiration to the one who especially needs them - to the Man with their exceptional ability. Dieter Blum builds "cathedrals" of human bodies, lays the foundation of a new form of studio photography. Blum has find his own special way of expression in photos of soaring ballet dancers and dancers of "imponderable" ballet. However, the artist is attracted by those skillful rather than by the technique of movement itself. When choosing subjects for his photos, Blum always try to find out what does all he hears and sees imply. His camera catches these hidden motives. This is why his portraits of politicians are so interesting. Among them are Willy Brandt, whom he calls "the opener of Eastern direction", chancellor Ludwig Erhard - "the father of free market economy", the present chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schroeder presented not in a very vantage pose - with a hand in front of his mouth, as if yawning. All the photographs of the "BodyCathedrals"series, which is the main exhibit of the exhibition, were made in studio, transformed into digital imageries, and transferred onto large-size aquarel paper (or hand-made paper). Blum calls this paper "the material which is good for museums and which will certainly last a century". Circulation never exceeds 10 copies not only because of expensiveness of producing such photographs. The idea of "the original" is very important to Blum; and it has been damaged due to endless reproductions, which appeared after technique of photographic replication was invented. A catalogue for the exhibition has been published.