Place: Zürich / Leipzig
Publisher: cpress and Spector Books
Size: 20 x 27 cm (approx.)
Hardcover, cloth bound, edition of 800. Concept André Gelpke and Christof Nüssli, design by Christof Nüssli.
„Amok is André Gelpke‘s personal commentary on the absurdities of our world. True to the artist’s motto, “Photography is a whore, never faithful, always feigning,” Gelpke uses the medium to formulate his subjective view of the world. Without being explanatory or anecdotal, he examines, with the help of the camera, the small, naturally occurring settings of everyday life.
In Amok, Gelpke explores the narrative affinity between photography and literature. Just like words, images are Gelpke’s means to organize his observances, and to initiate visual and substantive ties. It reflects Gelpke’s mania for taking photographs, challenging the world with his pictures.
Along with Michael Schmidt and Heinrich Riebesehl, Gelpke is one of the most important author photographers in postwar Germany. His study under Otto Steinert at the Folkwang school of Design in Essen was instrumental for his work. As the founder of “Subjective Photography”, Steinert constructed a pictorial language that was not only depictive, but individual and dedicated. In line with this artistic approach, photographers of the 1950s furthered the photographic traditions of the pre-1933 era and established a line of contemporary art photography in Germany. At the time when Gelpke was studying in Essen, Steinert focused his study on journalistic photography and so, in turn, Gelpke’s early work was marked by narrative imagery. During his studies he adopted, in following Steinert’s ideas, a photographic signature, one with empathy towards the objective, cool camera view.“