Neue Welt marks the beginning of a new chapter in Tillmans' work - wherein he returned to making images that showed people and places, after a period in the 2000's when he created predominantly 'abstract, medium-reflexive images'. Neue Welt means New World and for this new work, Tillmans travelled to countries he had never been to before, often spending a brief spell of a few days in a place, and photographing during this heightened state of receptivity that we experience when we find ourselves in a new environment. Tierra del Fuego, Tasmania, Saudi Arabia and Papua New Guinea find their way into a collection of images which are not delimited according to the place they were made, but instead function together in relation to each other as a form of enquiry - twenty years after Tillmans had begun to make photographs, he asked: 'How does the world appear twenty years after I've begun to form a picture of it? Can there be a "new" view of it? And "new" also in the sense of greatly expanded technical possibilities'. Talking of working with a digital camera for the first time, he suggests: 'The increased sharpness [of digital imagery] corresponds to what feels like new perception.'
Neue Welt is not produced in a small edition - rather it's a perfect book by a mainstream publisher: readily-available, beautiful and important. It is a book that everyone should have.
published in 2012 by Taschen, design, editing and typography by Wolfgang Tillmans, softcover, 30 x 22 cm, 216 pages, featuring a conversation between the artist and Beatrix Ruf, then director of Kunsthalle Zurich.
Claire de Rouen Director Lucy Kumara Moore interviewed Wolfgang about his music for issue 35 of POP magazine. She also wrote about Fashion Stories, the exhibition on the style press of the late 80s-early 90s that he curated at Between Bridges, Berlin, for PICPUS.