Photo of the day: Wolfgang Tillmans – Heptathlon (2009)
Heptathlon by Wolfgang Tillmans, shows a female athlete at a track event. Behind her, two other female athletes can be seen, unheeding of the attention being paid to the principal figure, who is being filmed by a cameraman just visible at the left-hand side of the photograph. Again, the figure appears both tensed and in repose; the half clenching of her hands might suggest nervousness or impatience, while her expression towards the camera is at once impassive and slightly confrontational. Knowing nothing more about the circumstantial context of the image, the viewer is nonetheless made fully aware of the emotional and physical challenges with which an athleteis faced. There is a quality of ruthlessness in her gaze towards the barely seen cameraman’s raised lens: the expression of competition.
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Heptathlon by Wolfgang Tillmans is one of my top 100 favourite photographs of all time.