Rankin Announces Career-Spanning Exhbition in Germany
This December photographer Rankin is delighted to be presenting an exhibition of his work at the Kunsthalle Rostock in Germany. Featuring early imagery from his time as a co-founder of Dazed & Confused all the way through to his more experimental contemporary work, Less is More celebrates a career spent challenging the status quo.
While fascinated by the fragility of life, and the inevitable onward march of death, there is all the signature tongue-in-cheek humour and emotive quality that the world has come to expect.
For Rankin, Less is More is about coming full circle. It moves away from his photographs of celebrity and casts its gaze back to the work he originally started at Dazed. Here he explored combining conceptual art and fashion photography, forcing them to create a third, more accessible image. It is an approach that flows throughout Less is More.
Rankin has always seen photography as a way to stimulate conversation, something accessible for everybody to understand and love. He rejects pretention with straight up, humour driven concepts that poke fun at fashion and advertising, whilst working within the mediums.
“I really believe in photography that makes you think as well as feel something. Less is More is the first time I’ve brought my more conceptual work together. It does what it says on the tin: showing fewer pieces that have more meaning to me”.
The show is a moment of reflection, a carefully curated collection of work that gives you the time and space to absorb the ideas and craft. It’s all about human emotion and evoking a gut reaction.
“We now live in a world populated by billions of wannabe photographers and have come to interact with photography through screens. Society and social media has shifted the medium away from how we explore the world to how we showcase ourselves. We live in an age of ‘brand me’ and smart phones have become the tool to do this… upload, download, overload. I want to put people face-to-face with photography, to stop them in their tracks, to get them thinking about work that is not necessarily entirely serious but is more than just the slip of a finger on a phone”.
The seed of Less is More was inspired by a meeting between Rankin and curator Ulrich Ptak. They discussed curating a minimalist exhibition that was stripped back to focus on Rankin’s more conceptual work.
To celebrate the show at this beautiful art museum, Rankin has created a one-off installation for Less is More, an “event image” specific to the space. This frieze of seven-metre statuesque nudes has to be seen to be believed.
Gone are the screens, the websites, the apps. It’s on a scale that can’t be experienced any other way.
“When I saw the white cube space at the Kunsthalle Rostock, I had to create something for it, an experiential image that can only be truly appreciated in person. Something that defies the instant sharing mentality, but is
also only temporal itself. I hope you like it”.
Rankin has spent his career moving photography away from the divisive elite of the art world, from the force-fed semiotics of his education. There is no essay of theoretical back-story to his work. It’s his way of looking at the world, his point of view, and he simply wants to engage, excite and provoke.