Quietly strange

Wim Wenders’s films are justly hailed for their evocation of place – be it the dusty desert landscapes of Paris, Texas or the angel’s-eye-view of a divided Berlin in Wings of Desire.

Ferris Wheel Reverse Angle, Armenia, by Wim Wenders courtesy of Haunch of Venison
Ferris Wheel Reverse Angle, Armenia, by Wim Wenders courtesy of Haunch of Venison

Similarly, Wenders’s photography is hooked on a sense of place and a keen eye for eccentricity. And as a globe-trotting acclaimed director, Wenders has plenty of opportunity to train his camera on unexpected corners of the world.

On Mount Etna, Sicily, Wim Wenders courtesy of Haunch of Venison
On Mount Etna, Sicily, Wim Wenders courtesy of Haunch of Venison

He says, ‘When you travel a lot and when you love to just wander around and get lost, you can end up in the strangest spots.

‘I seem to have sharpened my sense of place for things that are out of place. Everybody turns right, because that’s where it’s interesting. I turn left where there is nothing. And sure enough, I soon stand in front of my sort of place. I don’t know, it must be some sort of in-built radar that often directs me to places that are strangely quiet, or quietly strange.’

Open Air Screen Palermo
Open Air Screen, Palermo. Wim Wenders courtesy of Haunch of Venison

It is these wanderings that have resulted in the works on show at the Wim Wenders: Places Strange and Quiet exhibition, coming next month to London’s Haunch of Venison gallery.

Street Corner, Butte Montana. Wim Wenders courtesy of Haunch of Venison.
Street Corner, Butte Montana. Wim Wenders courtesy of Haunch of Venison.

The often eerie photographs include shots of a depopulated open-air cinema in Palermo and a rusted ferris wheel on the edge of an Armenian city. In Onomichi, Japan, a bright red bench is contrasted with the glowering grey of a warship, bristling with guns.

The Red Bench, Onomichi. Wim Wenders courtesy of Haunch of Venison
The Red Bench, Onomichi. Wim Wenders courtesy of Haunch of Venison.

Wim Wenders: Places Strange and Quiet, is at the Haunch of Venison gallery, London from 15 April-17 May.

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