The Chopper

Wim Wenders' The Chopper is iconic of the artist's ability to unleash a viewer's imagination: the image is like a story yet to come, where the bare trace of human life - the hovering helicopter in the sky - makes us speculate about the moment in time that the photograph was taken.

It is difficult to determine whether the helicopter is subject or object of the scene we see. The dramatic sky with its rays of light spilling into the ocean seems to be pulling the helicopter down into an abyss. And yet, simultaneously, we can not help but wonder whether Wenders intended us to see the machine itself as the source of light that tips its luminescence over the quiet landscape below.

The image creates a paradoxical interplay of stillness at the tip of movement and suspense within a context of serenity. The Chopper was photographed by Wenders in 2005 when travelling through Japan.

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