bernhard hartmann

Library Stuttgart

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About the artwork

After his series dedicated to the representation of the most famous operas in Germany, Bernhard Hartmann chose to photograph the municipal library of Stuttgart inaugurated in 2011. The resolutely contemporary building was the creation of the German-Korean architectural cabinet Eun Young Yi. A monolithic cube on the outside, the interior spaces are stacked on top of large galleries, based on a square floor plan. Both conceptual and functional, the interior space is completely white, and only the spines of books add colour. The simple, direct and radiant architecture contributes to its identity as a public library, open to all, and distances it from the model of the elitist institute. With a perfectly frontal shot, Bernhard Hartmann chose to emphasise the symmetry of the building. The photographer was able to appropriate the space, empty of all human presence and thus endowed with a timeless character. He insists on the solemnity of the site, and stresses the symbol that the library represents as both a spiritual site and the seat of knowledge.

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