Michael Wolf – Informal Solutions

Michael Wolf (Germany, 1954) refers to his book Informal Solutions (2016), from which he selected photos for his exhibition at BredaPhoto, as an ‘encyclopedia of back alley improvisations’. These ‘informal solutions’ include a self-made seat, plants in unexpected places, a mop that seems part of the street scene, and a mini-break in a random place. With these small interventions people claim their place in the city. In addition to his pictures and short videos, Wolf shows objects he collected through the years. Together, they form an alternative roadmap of the metropolis.

Wolf has been living in Hong Kong part-time since the nineties. He uses a detached style of photographing to register life in megacities. He has made iconic pictures of dense urban architecture that only show high rises. The viewer can only guess at the thousands of lives that take place behind these screened windows. In Paris, he used Google street view for A Series of Unfortunate Events (2010). He photo- graphed the coincidences that happened when Google was mapping the streets. He once said: ‘I have an extreme curiosity about people. Photography allows me to be very curious and get into other people’s lives.’ Wolf won two World Press Photo Awards for his pictures of Chinese factories and the overcrowded Japanese metro system.

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