Albrecht Tübke – Personae

“Tübke‘s recent series of portraiture appears at once strikingly innovative and deceptively simple. Initially inspired by August Sander’s People of the Twentieth Century, Tübke’s subjects are framed in situ in their own attire. Their choice of stance and gaze embody their own multifaceted public persona, which exists to mask or accentuate individual identity. In his series Pulica from 2004, Tübke’s subjects are at home in their environment. Theirs is a world where functionality and fashion co-mingle in the spectrum of Tuscan village life, where one may search for reflections of archetypal Italy in the public façades of so many distinct personalities and generations. More recently, Tübke has turned to the city to investigate how one presents his or her individual identity in the mass confusion of urban stereotypes. In the series Donna (2008) Tübke invited women to engage with the camera, while letting the viewer ponder their choice of outfits and accessories and what these might reveal of the individual within.”

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“Last year, Tübke returned to the streets of Italy to complete his celebrated Personae (2009) series, examining both sexes in a virtual competition for self expression and assertion of identity. In this series he has documented citizens of many nations on their way through the fashionable city of Florence. Whether wearing bright colours and operatic accessories or a more muted yet still visually captivating elegance, each of Tübke’s urban flaneurs performs his or her own personality and exudes an inimitable public persona through the choice of outfit, stance and engagement with the camera.”

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“Tübke‘s recent portraits employ a neutral background of street and wall as a stage for personal expression and also a conceptual framework documenting aspects of contemporary Europe. As the artist has stated:
I want to show people from a variety of different backgrounds, as I am interested in the range of ways in which people present their public face. Through constant exposure to the multitude of public personae with which we are presented, we have become anaesthetised to the range of individuals that surround us. In this project, I am attempting to distil something of the essence of that individual.”

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“Originally from Leipzig, Germany, Tübke trained at the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig before completing his MA at Guildhall University of London. His work has been included in numerous museum exhibitions in Europe, among others Animalism at the National Media Museum in Bradford; How We Are: Photographing Britain at the Tate Britain; Zeit, Raum, Bild at the Historisches Museum Frankfurt; and New Photographers 2006 at Antwerp’s Museum voor Fotografie. His work can be seen in the public collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; Museum Folkwang, Essen; Centre National de l’Audiovisuel, Luxembourg; and the National Media Museum, Bradford.”

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more images on the artist’s website, text by James Hyman Gallery, London