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"Overcoming the Limitations of the Human Eye..."
The Press on "More than Meets the Eye"

With the exhibition "More than Meets the Eye," the Deutsche Bank Collection is presenting a broad selection of its photographic works for the first time. The spectrum of works shown ranges from classics like Bernd and Hilla Becher to younger artists on the German photography scene. The show focuses on the series and on the large scale typical to German photography, which is represented in the Deutsche Bank Collection with numerous important works. After the first station of the exhibition at the MARCO Museum in Monterrey, "More than Meets the Eye" is currently showing at the Antiguo Colégio de San Ildefonso in Mexico City. The show that is touring through seven Latin American museums met with overwhelmingly positive response in the Mexican press.

Blick in die Ausstellung im MARCO Museum in Monterrey

"What, actually, is reality?" A visit to More than Meets the Eye prompted Jorge Castaneda Ochoa from the newspaper El Porvenir to investigate this question in two complete articles. Impressed by the many different facets of the works shown, the author praises the fact that the works "‘summoned’ to Latin America" by Friedhelm Hütte represent "over 50 different perspectives, some of which are individual, and some of which run parallel or are complete opposites… common to all of them, however, is the attempt to construct an image of the world." According to the author, the show’s particular value is the "cultural interchange inspired by this exhibition of German photography after 1945, which includes photographic works by such established painters as Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter as well as the young art photographers."

The show turns out to be "far more than just a cultural import." More than Meets the Eye builds "a bridge whose foundation is based both on the differences to Latin American photography and the aspects both have in common." In his second article, his judgment turns out to be far more philosophical: "The manner of reading suggested to the visitor as he or she progresses through the museum halls is orientated according to a subject interested in the construction of reality, but who ultimately arrives at the conclusion that an objective reality does not exist."

Blick in die Ausstellung im MARCO Museum in Monterrey

For Gregory Duke in El Norte, the exhibition’s title evokes memories of Alexandro Amenabar’s film hit Abre los Ojos/Open Your Eyes, the story of which is better known to international audiences through the Hollywood remake Vanilla Sky; it describes a world in which reality and fantasy become repeatedly blurred in the protagonist’s mind: "Merely looking does not suffice to sum up our total perception: our impressions are always determined by our memories, experiences, and feelings, and even by the mood we happen to be in when we’re looking at something… the medium is capable of capturing something in a way the human eye would never be able to do.

Yet when the retina joins forces with the rational mind, there are limitless possibilities for experiencing reality." Thus, the exhibition "arrests time for the visitor, enlarges details, and presents everything in great clarity." That’s why Duke has only one recommendation: "Fling yourself into this exhibition, look at it with your own eyes… and mind."

Wim Wenders, Streetfront in Butte, Montana, 2000,
Sammlung Deutsche Bank, © Wim Wenders, Courtesy Haunch of Venison

Miguel Angel Ceballos in El Universal writes: "The show, with works by 53 German photographers born between 1930 and 1977 and including the famous filmmaker Wim Wenders, brings images together that open up unexpected perspectives and overcome the limitations of the human eye thanks to wide angle lenses and digital manipulation." What he finds most convincing is the high quality of the works “by such influential German photographers as Bernd and Hilla Becher, Thomas Struth, and Andreas Gursky. They represent the multitude of photographic standpoints ranging from classic black and white to collage and wide-angle photography.”

"More than Meets the Eye is the title of this exhibition, which refers to a metaphor for the numerous meanings photography is capable of generating," says Samuel Mesinas in the Diario Monitor. He quotes Ery Camaro, exhibition coordinator in San Ildefonso: "This is a selection of works from different generations with varying creative strategies that have all influenced the art world in a major way." At the end of his insightful report, however, he mentions that he missed one aspect in the show: "Still, it’s noticeable that political themes are entirely absent. Visitors expecting a selection of German art photography after 1945 will be disappointed."

Annegret Soltau, Ohne Titel (Detail), 1975,
Sammlung Deutsche Bank, © VG Bildkunst Bonn (Annegret Soltau)

On the other hand, Tania Gabriela Ortiz in Milenio sums up the exhibition in a way the little guy can understand: "Artists like Bernd and Hilla Becher, Wolfgang Tillmans or Andreas Gursky are only a few of the names in this exhibition that show the public in Monterrey that Germany has a lot more to offer than just hamburger, Beethoven, and soccer.”

This view is shared by Alfredo Ortiz Santos in his article in the Crónica after a visit to the exhibition in Mexico City, where "Germany is not only omnipresent due to the soccer World Cup, but also because of a show of photo works that present everyday 20th-century culture to today." He underscores this statement with a quote by the director of San Ildefonso, Paloma Porraz Fraser: "The show is dedicated to an important theme in contemporary art. The German photography shown here represents works that not only had a great influence and attracted attention at home; they altered perception and photography on an international level, as well. For the Museum San Ildefonso, showing these works has become an attractive opportunity to win over a new audience."
Maria Morais