He­re Co­mes The Suit

VOGUE (Italy) - - CULTURE - Photographed by Pe­ter Lind­ber­gh

It seems in­vi­dious and di­scri­mi­na­to­ry - and, frank­ly, al­mo­st im­pos­si­ble - to choo­se a fa­shion pho­to­gra­pher who­se oeu­vre exem­plif ies the spi­rit of L’Uo­mo

Vo­gue over the l ast half a cen­tu­ry.

But in as mu­ch as L’Uo­mo has ne­ver sought it, Pe­ter Lind­ber­gh has ne­ver, in over 40 years, de­li­ve­red the ex­pec­ted. The ma­ga­zi­ne pu­bli­shed so­me of his ear­lie­st pic­tu­res, and ti­me and again L’Uo­mo and its si­ster ma­ga­zi­ne Vo­gue Ita­lia ha­ve pro­vi­ded exac­tly the right are­na for his stri­king ima­ges, al­ways hi­gh on dra­ma and at­mo­sphe­re.

His si­gna­tu­re sty­le has been pre­di­ca­ted on strong, hi­gh-con­tra­st prin­ts, sa­tu­ra­ted in black and white - the mo­re ef­fec­ti­ve to un­der­sco­re the at­mo­sphe­re he brings to his mi­se-en-scè­ne. They ap­pear be­fo­re us, s tran­ge and d islo­ca­ted, un­ba­lan­ced and other­world­ly l ike stills f rom an un­rea­li­zed mo­vie.

And that is su­re­ly the in­ten­tion. Lind­ber­gh con­tri­ves sce­na­rios in whi­ch his mo­dels ‘per­form’ for his l ens; he i s a s mu­ch f ilm d irec­tor and r ing­ma­ster as ca­me­ra­man and pho­to­gra­pher. No­thing is straight­for­ward and in the ca­re­ful­ly con­struc­ted nar­ra­ti­ves t he­re a re l ayers of mea­ning be­nea­th t he a rtif ice. As the hi­sto­rian Mar­tin Har­ri­son ob­ser­ved: “Lind­ber­gh’s im­pul­se to ma­ke stran­ge his pho­to­gra­phs en­su­res that they re­si­st sim­pli­stic in­ter­pre­ta­tions.” Their f rag­men­ted and di­sem­bo­died qua­li­ties g ive them their po­wer.

Lind­ber­gh’s con­nec­tion to the ci­ne­ma is ine­sca­pa­ble. His grai­ny black and white ima­ges of mo­dels in th­rall to the ‘ma­chi­ne age’, for exam­ple, are per­fec­tly in tu­ne with pio­neers of Ger­man Ex­pres­sio­ni­sm in pain­ting and in f ilm. Rai­sed in the Ruhr Val­ley, the hub of Ger­ma­ny’s in­du­strial hear­tland, he di­sco­ve­red i n Ber­lin the f ilms of G.W. Pab­st, Von Stern­berg, and Fri­tz Lang, and it is pe­rhaps the dy­sto­pian land­sca­pe of Lang’s Me­tro­po­lis (1927) that has be­st in­for­med Lind­ber­gh’s vi­sion of the world. The fu­tu­re he en­vi­sions for the mas­ses has been a bleak and mo­no­chro­ma­tic one, a sce­na­rio he con­ti­nues still to re-ima­gi­ne in so ma­ny va­ried and vi­vid ways, not lea­st for He­re Co­mes the

Suit. His f riend t he au­teur Wim Wen­ders sum­med it up be­st: “The world of fa­shion pho­to­gra­phy is gla­mo­rous but we’ve got­ten used to its shi­ny sur­fa­ce. Pe­ter’s pho­to­gra­phs are ut­ter­ly dif fe­rent. They de­fy all la­ws of gra­vi­ty in this realm and re­def ine the ve­ry world they de­pict.”

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