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Friday, 15 February 2008

August Sander

Next up is August Sander's Widower and sons. Like the best Sander images, the widower has an organic, fleshy quality (there must be a complex German word for this - fleischsichheit - something like that) that points to one's inevitable mortality. One is only here for a moment, and then one returns to the place all flesh returns.

The circumstances of the widower and his two children adds a sadness to this organic quality (this fleischsichheit - if that's a real word, someone tell me - and let me know what it means too) - the sense that they are getting by, doing as well as can be expected, that the boys are being recreated under their father's image, and this is not the way things should be. The two boys are different, the older on the left weighed down by what he is expected to be, the younger on the right by what he can no longer be. Their shaved heads, drooping lips, childlike clothes and socks and sandals all add to this impression to make one of Sander's sadder pictures a true tragedy.

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