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Manfred Willmann


You do not love me. I do not love you.


The history of Austrian photography after 1945 is closely linked to the names of a few personalities whose commitment is to thank for the considerable vitality of the national scene (also in international comparison).
Manfred Willmann from Graz has an outstanding position in this context: both as an artist and as a mediator of photography, he has had a decisive influence on the development of the last fifteen years. With the founding of the “Fotogalerie im Forum Stadtpark” (Graz) in 1975, he succeeded in establishing what was then Austria’s only institution dealing with the reception and mediation of artistic photography at an international level. To this day, the Forum’s exhibition programme need not fear comparison with museums in Austria and abroad.
To this day, the Forum’s exhibition programme does not need to fear comparison with domestic and foreign museums.
Since 1980 Willmann has also been the editor of the magazine “Camera Austria” (together with Christine Frisinghelli), which, bilingual, is one of the few internationally renowned Austrian art magazines. The Symposion for Photography, also organised by Willmann and Frisinghelli since 1989, has also helped to make Austria known in Europe and overseas as a country with a comparatively excellent photographic infrastructure.
The exhibition at the FOTOHOF will show examples of Willmann’s most recent work; what Klaus Honnef said about Willmann’s cycle “The World is Beautiful” also applies to them: “Willmann’s photographic images are not images of reality, but to the highest degree images of a subjective understanding of reality, of a subjective view of the long view and of reality, imaginary images rather than reports, images that have their own reality, unfold their own laws and yet fix what we understand by reality as if in a burning glass.