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Wie war Las Vegas (What was Las Vegas like) is not the portrait of a city. Volker Renner doesn’t waste a single picture on the familiar motifs, and even avoids showing the skyline. The famous Circus Circus Hotel makes an appearance, but only as a reddish reflection of light; it is so glaringly lit up that its image looms even on the pavement, reminiscent of a faded bloodstain. The artist trains his lens on these marginal phenomena, on vestiges and cracks in the façade of the desert city that reveal its artificiality and constructed quality. In his second artist’s book, Wie war Las Vegas, Volker Renner, who studied with Peter Piller at University of Fine Arts of Hamburg and then continued his training as Piller’s master student at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, pursues his ongoing project of a photographic compilation of reality organized in pairs, arrays, and series. It takes a close and careful look to discern the categories that underlie his photographs; the highly subtle links between the individual pictures imply a nod to the iconic masters who surveyed Las Vegas in photographs: Venturi and Scott Brown, Ed Ruscha. Renner’s rigorously documentary approach and the absurdity of his subject notwithstanding, his photographs exude a delicate poetic quality and pastel-colored melancholy and coalesce into a haunting study.
Published by Volker Renner and Salon Verlag
240 x 300 mm