Benedikt Partenheimer
Vending machines (Japan) 2, 2013

  • Lightjet C-Print on Fujicolor Crystal Archive Paper
  • 113 x 140 cm, Ed. 1/3 + 2 AP
  • Acquired in 2015
  • Photography Serie

In addition to his studies in photography, Benedikt Partenheimer’s academic background includes studies in art history, philosophy and history. His oeuvre is characterized by serial artworks and by the reinterpretation of traditions from art history. The photographic series by Partenheimer entitled Vending machines is a product of his night-time journeys through Tokyo. The artist had a chance to explore the Japanese metropolis in 2013, in connection with the Art Scope scholarship program (a support program for artists that has been run by Mercedes-Benz Japan since 1991). These colorful machines are a characteristic feature of the landscape of icons found in the night-time city. Partenheimer’s photographs sketch the cheerless, cold and yet unreal atmosphere of the urban space. They have a subtle aesthetic, and a well-judged sense of color and proportions. People are airbrushed out of this self-sufficient consumer world – in contrast to, for instance, Edward Hopper and his painting Nighthawks, which showed people in the glaring lights and emptiness of a bar. In the context of current debates on energy policy and atomic catastrophe, Partenheimer’s photographs can also be viewed as exercising criticism, or on a political plane.

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