Galeria Senda is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in the gallery of the Swiss Brussels-based photographer BEAT STREULI (Altdorf, 1957), dedicated to his last project on Barcelona.
Beat Streuli is one of the internationally leading figures of contemporary photography and one of the most compelling representatives of a kind of street photography that has a long lineage. For the last 15 years, he has been travelling around the world's large cities -from New York to Cape Town, from Zurich to Sao Paulo or Sydney- making portraitures of anonymous street dwellers, aiming to document the human presence in urban spaces.
Streuli's photographs feature seemingly banal shots of individuals moving through the cities, who loom from a surrounding crowd and are captured in a moment of routine motion, like striding down a sidewalk or crossing a street. Streuli isolates his subjects from the multitude and focuses on their expressions, rituals and body movements, accentuating their physical presence in space with a mostly glaring, yet warm sunlight. Surreptitiously using a telephoto lens, with big tact and no voyeuristic intention at all, the artist fixes ephemeral and fugitive moments taken from the continuous flow of citizens.
Streuli depicts the individual in all its singularity, far from a sociological analysis and foreign to an advertising target. His large-format photos do not show us an artificial and static smile but a natural attitude; avoiding the theatricality and the spectacle, he approaches the spontaneous gesture and the daily ambience. Streuli manages to present a collective and a personal portrait at one time, which both distils the urban dynamism of modernity and reveals the position of the individual in the crowd in a state of absent-mindedness, self-absorption, and thoughtfulness.
Streuli chooses the Plaça de Catalunya and the Rambla as the setting for his new project on Barcelona (in 1997 he took photographs in the Raval neighbourhood). By photographing around these emblematic public walks, with their veritable multi-racial diversity, his photos draw attention to the increasing heterogeneity of modern metropolis. Within these metropolis, Streuli's eye observes not only passers-by of all ages and origins, but also means of transportation, advertisements, and urban furnishings, which, in this series, allow us to recognize symbols, colours, and places of Barcelona. Each of Streuli's images is, simultaneously, specific to the city from which it comes and completely universal in its new transcription of the rich, multicultural nature of our urban reality.
This exhibition will include a group of eight medium and large-format photographs.
Beat Streuli works in photography since 1988, after attending courses of painting in the schools of art in Zurich and Basel. His photographs, videos and window installations have been featured at museums and galleries all around the world, such as: Tate Modern, London (2008); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2007); Palais de Tokyo (2002), Paris; MOCA, Chicago (1999); Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf (1999) and Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris (1996). Some of his permanent installations can be found at the Lufthansa Aviation Center at Frankfurt Airport, at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Triemli Hospital in Zurich, in the Style Company Building in Osaka, and in the Immigration Hall of Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas. Lives and works between Brussels and Düsseldorf.