Bernhard Lang suggests an objective perspective on coastline’s holidays

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Bernhard Lang was born in 1970 in Crailsheim in the South of Germany and since 1993 he’s based in Munich. From 1993 to 1996 he has been attending Anker photostudio through an apprenticeship, specialising himself in advertising photography. From 1996 to 2000 he worked as a freelance photo-assistant for various international advertisement and fashion photographers, becoming soon one of those himself. Even if until 2010 he has been mainly shooting people, his recent works demonstrate also a sensitivity to other kinds of subjects, conveying messages that struck him.

About ‘Adria’– words by Bernhard Lang:

The Adria’s Aerial Views series is based on aerial photographs of the Adriatic coastline between Ravenna and Rimini in Italy, photographed out of a helicopter during August 2014.  The images capture the thousands of sun worshipers lazing on the sand and sheltering underneath massive beach umbrellas. 

The images display the dimension of mass tourism, and how little space is left for the holidaymakers, which are strictly herded extremely close to their neighbors. People are not only delimited on their deck chair place but also on the small beach playgrounds and on the inflatable structures on the water: there’s no space or freedom, but limiting lines.

The same lack of space is repeated in their small rooms of the tourist-hotels right behind the beaches. In some resorts it’s possible to see square fences around sun-umbrella and deck chair that delimit very little private spaces, looking like cells from above. For me it’s astonishing, that a lot of people, which often live in packed cities, in small apartments, even for their vacation are not searching for silence and space, but apparently enjoy being herded together. Also the visual aspect has been extremely interesting and diversified for me: the use of the endless rows of the different beach resort, having each one different colour and patterns on their sun-umbrellas play in contrast with the strict geometry of the sun-umbrellas arrangement.

These aerial shots reduce the holiday scenery to two-dimensional shapes and colours. The order and structure visible from above remains hidden to the throngs of beachgoers below. At the same time, the images are similar to hidden object puzzles, only looking carefully, the viewer gradually notices new details. It is this tension between the two-dimensional, almost painterly abstraction and the attention to details that produces this aesthetic appeal.

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Time to read
2 min
Words by
Published on
13 August 2019
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