© Julian Röder, Protests agains G-8 summit in Genoa, Italy, 2001

© Julian Röder, Protests agains G-8 summit in Glenagles, Scotland, 2005

© Julian Röder, Protests agains G-8 summit in Kokkaido, Japan, 2008


“No, these are not battle scenes in the art historical sense. Even if Julian Röder does have a strong understanding of pouring the confrontational situations of crowds – their clustering and the bursting apart – into striking pictures. The old masters Altdorfer and Uccello come easefully to mind. What Röder shows is not the compacting of an historical occurrence; it is the immediate present. However, it is precisely because he helps himself to art – or more generally speaking, historical image – motifs that these photographs possess deeper intensity and permanence than a fifteen second take from the news. Because pictures are always pictures about pictures. We have them in our memory – more or less consciously – and incessantly align them with that which purports to be reality.
What fascinates us about this process of alignment, however, is not the possibility of an agreement, but the addition. Eventually, every authentic picture adds to our remembered image, and this gap can be captivating. I know that the term authenticity has become discredited, though I cannot let it go. Even if the altogether authentic picture remains forever fictitious, there are different strategies of harmonization. Those of Julian Röder exist, foremost, in the immediate pathos and in the attention to detail that is often touching and strange. Like those masked in Genoa, helplessly studying the city map, or the picture of the pair in Heiligendamm, who have wrapped themselves in a plastic tarp to sleep in a field, aptly setting their wet socks out to dry on a stack of euro-pallets. Drama and satire: Röder shows both, as in Greek tragedy.”

by Matthias Flügge

More of Julian’s work here

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