WIE WAR LAS VEGAS (How Was Las Vegas) is not a portrait of the city. Volker Renner does not waste even one image on familiar motifs. He even avoids depicting the city itself. The famous hotel Circus Circus is only visible as a reddish reflection of light, which is so bright that it even leaves its mark in the asphalt, where it is reminiscent of a faded blood stain. The artist focuses on these marginal phenomena, traces and cracks in the façades of this desert city, which reveal its artificiality and constructed nature.
In this, his second artist book, Volker Renner continues to expand upon his photographic collection of ‘reality’. The artist studied with Peter Piller at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts (HFBK) and completed his studies as a master student at the Academy of Visual Arts (HGB) in Leipzig. He arranges the photos in pairs, groups or series. The categories, according to which his photographs are grouped, can only be truly grasped after more precise observation, since the connections between the individual images are extremely subtle. They refer to things far beyond the borders of the images themselves and make reference to the great photographic icons of Las Vegas, such as those shot by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown or Ed Rusha. Despite Renner’s strictly documentary working method and the absurdity of his motifs, his photographs radiate a fragile poesy and pastel-coloured melancholy and condense to form a haunting overall image of the city. (Stephanie Bunk)