Shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, Anders Petersen is best-known for shooting the late-night denizens (prostitutes, transvestites, drunks, lovers, drug addicts) of his Cafe Lehmitz series. His penchant for portraying outsiders and social misfits in a raw, black-and-white documentary-style continued to focus on the trilogy of a prison, nursing home, and mental hospital. In illuminating the day-to-day life of mental patients during a three-year stint, his cinematic sensibilities reveal an extraordinarily tender, yet harrowing, truth that the viewer may wish to dismiss as mere nightmare. And yet - located somewhere between horror and hope - Petersen's work testifies to the transcendent force of the human spirit, even within its institutionalized cage.
To me, it's encounters that matter, pictures are much less important.
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