August Sander is regarded as pioneer of a documentary-conceptual photography. The series “People of the 20th Century” he developed in 1924 portrays representatives of various social classes and occupational groups and is recognized as a social portrait of the time.
The focus lies on the relationship between the individual and typical as well as the mutual influence of human and community. Gabriele Conrath-Scholl, head of the Photographische Sammlung of the SK Stiftung in Cologne, who owns the estate of August Sander, contextualizes the work of Sander and connects it to current positions of contemporary art which strive for similar photographic analyses of society.
The talk is part of a series of talks that will be held under the motto art history today. Art history is based on the assumption that scholarly reception and interpretation as such constitute activities tied to their historical context. Therefore, to look at visual art from a current point of view inevitably entails the superimposition of a contemporary perspective on a historical practice. The series of talks attempts to radicalize this view: What interests us today and why?