Pictures from the Surface of the Earth
Globetrotting filmmaker Wim Wenders always takes his old panorama camera with him, using it whenever the sheer wealth of what he sees and the impression it leaves on him breaks the normal scale of things. Infinite landscapes, endless horizons, deserts, and mountain ranges overwhelm by their emptiness and silence, street fronts in Havana, Houston, Berlin, or Jerusalem offer deep insights into the shallows of civilization. Wenders photographs are pictures of a world almost devoid of humans, a natural or man made world viewed from a distance. They shed light on the many guises the surface of the earth dons and attest to Wenders contemplative and amazed gaze. This gaze, of course, didnot stop at September 11 and delivered haunting photos of Ground Zero taken shortly after the attack. With poetic comments by the artist on all the pictures, the book is both a portrait of the world as encountered by the photographer and a portrait of the photographer as reflected in his vision of the world.