Felix Lange: Magic Worlds, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (english)
Text by Felix Lange
...The photographer Thomas Wrede (b. 1963) searched a half-dozen German amusement parks for scenes that had little to do with pleasure. Instead, without a trace of malice, his images of the fun parks speak more of a fictional feeling somewhere between amusement and adventure. One would like to call the works laconic; some are even melancholy.
Precisely seen, each photo captures a moment of melancholy; each one reports a loss of some kind. They show what is past and gone. Photos are histories from the moment that the photographer releases the shutter. Wrede's photos, however, convey a sorrowful atmosphere for another reason: they exclude history. Everything here is artificial, even the animals and plants. A patina of age will probably never lie upon the shining, painted façades. And the stainless steel will never rust.
These scenes of a jamboree are therefore no longer oriented toward the world, but instead, toward those film transparencies that are so often combined and layered by the entertainment industry, especially by the film industry, so that we even take them to be our own memories...To be excited in such surroundings must ultimately mean that existence is the best way for the self to become a fiction.
Translation by Allison Plath-Moseley
From the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, August 24, 2000