Leni Riefenstahl :: Gallery

Header Photo: A Dvd cover for Olympia,

To be honest with you, I couldn't tell you what country this Dvd is from or whether the release is official or a bootleg (I know, very ignorant of me but I am English after all so that's my excuse) but to me that doesn't matter. The cover conveys the feeling of 'strength' that, I am sure, was the brief for the project when Riefenstahl took on the project of filming the 1936 Olympics. Strength of the state, strength of the system; omnipotent like George Orwell's Big Brother. It is a strength on a frightening scale - a kind of arrogant strength. The state is strength; strength is the state. Everything else is wrong.

To me it can be the only meaning it conveys.

We all know the context of these Games and the Propaganda benefits. The problem for Riefenstahl is she did it all so damn well.

Taken out of context it is art but you can never take anything out of context with her work. That was always her problem. You want to love her work because some of it is so out of this world, so powerful it astonishes you just gazing at it, but then context, context, context rears its head and you realise the message lurking behind the image.

Photo © Estate of Leni Riefenstahl. Text © Paul Page, 2014.

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