The Dutch photographer and film director Anton Corbijn is internationally famous for his portraits of stars, album covers, music videos and films (most recently The American with George Clooney). As well as enthusiasm for the music scene (which has led to outstanding projects with bands such as U2, Depeche Mode, Joy Division and Herbert Grönemeyer), Anton Corbijn also has a fascination for film, fashion, literature, science and, in recent times, particularly for fine art. Hence, his latest book "Inwards and Onwards" features not only music stars such as Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen and Mick Jagger but also portraits of artists such as Lucian Freud, Anselm Kiefer, Damien Hirst, Peter Doig and Gerhard Richter.
The exhibition shows a selection of portrait photographs which impressively illustrate two decades in the life and work of the band R.E.M. with their lead singer Michael Stipe. He says of Anton Corbijn: "At a time of powerful cultural and artistic upheaval, Anton established himself early on as the premier portraitist of a pivotal community. His photographs stand as a testament to a thrilling chapter in our collective and recent past."
Anton Corbijns distinctive style is characterised by a clear and realistic perspective. He does not take his photographs in a studio, nor does he use artificial light or a tripod. As a result, remote celebrities suddenly appear close, vulnerable and even sentimental. Using his camera in this way, Anton Corbijn documented the most important phases in the career of the band R.E.M. Rather than being staged images, the approximately 40 photographs in this exhibition authentically show the personalities of the band members and even provide intimate glimpses into their lives.
When R.E.M. disbanded in September 2011 after 31 successful years in the music business, their last album "Collapse into Now" was just a few months old. It was an unusual album, not only due to its musical diversity but above all because singer Michael Stipe took a completely different tack in it. In parallel with the album, he initiated a film project, curating it himself and engaging successful directors and actors to support him. Twelve short films to twelve songs that was the idea behind this unusual collaboration between the music star Stipe and renowned figures from Hollywood. The film makers included, for example, the Oscar-nominated US actor James Franco, the French artist Sophie Calle, the 85-year old documentary film maker Albert Maysles and the British director, photographer and concept artist Sam Taylor-Wood.
For a period of three months, these short films are being shown in the Albertinum
for the first time alongside photographs by Anton Corbijn.