Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 cult film Blow-Up and its various references to photography are the focus of the Albertina photo exhibit of the same name. For the first time, photographs classified according to thematic emphases will be shown which have proven to be characteristic for Antonioni's film in various respects, and which also illustrate important artistic positions in the history of photography and art.
Blow-Up occupies a unique position, not only in the history of film, but also in the history of photography. There is hardly another feature film that has shown the diverse areas of photography in such a differentiated fashion, and which attempts to fathom them in such a detailed and timeless manner. The photographic spectrum in Blow-Up is accordingly broad, extending from fashion photography through social reporting and pop art to abstract photography. The Blow-Up exhibit presents these diverse themes and their relation to one another in several chapters. In addition to film stills, both works that can actually be seen in Blow-Up and photographs illuminating the cultural and artistic context of the film production, London of the Swinging Sixties, will be shown. Among the exhibited photographers are thus found such central artists as David Bailey, Terence Donovan, Richard Hamilton, John Hilliard, Don McCullin, Ian Stephenson, John Stezaker and many more.
In addition to this, the famous photos from Blow-Up of a pair of lovers in a park, taken secretly by the protagonist of Antonioni's story, can also be viewed. The protagonist believes that he has "documented" a murder by chance with these images. However, the photos turn out to provide only ambivalent evidence, because even enlargements or blow-ups of these photos don't reveal the presumed corpse. This cinematic study of the representation of images and their ambivalence has since provided the artistic basis for the works of a variety of contemporary photographers, which demonstrates that Blow-Up has retained its cultural relevance since its creation in 1966.