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Book of the Month


Should the title make you wonder what cars, clothes and cabbages could possibly have in common, the answer presents itself as soon as you start leafing through the book: the link is in the photographer’s perception. During countless strolls through major European cities, Schumann has noticed things that would almost certainly escape the average passer-by. Seeing them through the lens of the photographer suddenly transforms these trivial situations into extraordinary still lifes of absurd moments, peculiar scenarios and ludicrous juxtapositions.

Here we bear witness to the tragic relationship between a fake plastic sausage and a ventilation tube, there we notice the echoing patterns of a bike saddle and a goldfish tank, next we observe a man in a park who, rather inexplicably, appears to examine the path before him by looking through two yellow tubes. Time and again, we can see evidence of the photographer’s penchant for the visual patterns and structures of the urban space, and his fascination with temporary installations and fragile makeshift measures. The supposed order of the city is constantly being subverted because in reality, the seemingly civilised urban world is brimming with oddities.

Yet Schumann’s multi-layered images go beyond superficial humour, and are full of well-thought-out irony. “I like it when photographs can tell a story while still retaining some of their mystery,” says the photographer, who was born 1975 in Dresden and now lives and works in Berlin. Published in collaboration with Hannes Wanderer, More Cars, Clothes and Cabbages is the photographer’s first book publication. The selected images, spanning the years from 2009 to 2016, were taken in many different cities – including Berlin, Istanbul, Paris, Milan, Tbilisi and Prague. However, to Schumann it is not the location that is of primary importance, but rather the details he has discovered. “I wonder about the possible stories behind these scenes, and about what it is that drives us humans to create and change things.” Perhaps the very fact that so much in life can never be explained makes it all the more compelling to take a closer look at Schumann’s work. Ulrich Rüter

Torsten Schumann
More Cars, Clothes and Cabbages
96 pages, 55 colour illustrations
24 x 28 cm, German, English
Peperoni Books

A special edition of 20 signed and numbered copies (including one print) is available on the photographer’s website: www.torstenschumann.de.

The book presentation takes place on Friday, 16 September 2016, at 25books (Brunnenstrasse 152, 10115 Berlin). The event starts at 19.00, and also marks the opening of the accompanying exhibition, showing from 16 September to 12 October 2016.

More Cars, Clothes and Cabbages will also be presented during the European Month of Photography in Berlin: on 30 September at 14.00, Hannes Wanderer will introduce the publication as part of the C/O Berlin’s Book Days at the Museum für Fotografie.
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