Exhibitions & Artists

 

2014 Memory Lab: Photography Challenges History

Curatorial statement

The collective title of the catalogue which generously covers all 43 artists/photographers featured in very different exhibitions in six European capitals of the EMoP network has the advantage of not being too specific about what they have in common or what distinguishes them. The vast majority of these artists is concerned with recalling the painful events and aftermaths of the major European conflicts that marked the twentieth century. More recently, the Balkan conflicts.

Andreas Muehe / Obersalzberg / Selbstbildnis

img: Andreas Muehe / Click image for catalogue

Others address the history of immigration and related issues of the origins of people, their identity, family or regional history, which is another way of addressing memory. How should the contemporary photography of the seven countries constituting the EMoP network in 2014 define itself in relation to a past that it is supposed to tell or represent? It is a difficult question. In particular it raises – beyond the cultural differences and particularities that characterize individual nations and cultural entities – the question of the veracity of the facts it tells, potential travesties or diversions in their social and political context. Art is no exception.

All memory is selective, and the artist draws attention this or that event, forgets about others and proceeds to tweak what is shown.

Originally, photography replaced painting and literature through an unmatched quality: its capacity to represent “reality”. The function of the photograph was to give credit, by means of a suitable picture, to what the journalist was writing about. It was supposed to rid the reader of any doubt and guarantee that truth was being brought to him through the photographic image.


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2012 distURBANces

Exhibition concept

CC_cov_2013emop

Today, economic, ecological and political crises push the world towards societal changes. In this era of globalisation, characterised by the unprecedented dominance of the visual experience, one may at one and the same time witness not only ever increasing complexity, but also the incessant interweaving of worlds that are physically perceptible from close up yet remote and digital at the same time.

The time-space ratio in contemporary society determines our physical reality as much as it is itself subject to increasing, paradoxical change. Physical time is measured in ever-smaller units according to an internationally recognised system. Originally defined by the Earth’s rotation, since 1967 the second has been calculated on the basis of atomic measurements; today it is possible to measure one billionth of a billionth of a second.
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2010 Mutations III

In a context where all means of communication and artistic media are affected by globalization and digital convergence, the era of “post-medium” we are entering is a period characterized by the exploration of hybrid technology, in which artists combine and recombine photography and video with a wide variety of other materials. Whereas in the 80s, we saw photography pushed to new heights of popularity by impressive large and high quality prints, one can not always even speak of photography today but rather of images. Pictures have become massware and everybody is putting his personal shot on Facebook, Twitter or any other platform and personal blog. Everyday shots have become commonplace in art and the issue is no longer one of aesthetic excellence but of weaving networks of significance. By putting enough images – of yourself or your neighbourhood on the net – by giving a true or staged insight into your own life or of others you can build a network of participants that will eventually contribute more images and address topics of social and political meaning.
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2008 Mutations II – Moving Stills


In the context of the European Month of Photography 2008,  it was both legitimate and necessary to look collectively at the profound changes afoot in the world, and in particular those taking place in the field of contemporary images. This was the motivation behind the 2006 exhibition entitled “Mutations I”, an event focusing on technological and artistic change in the area of photography. The second edition of the event, “Mutations II – Moving Stills”, aims to pursue this line...
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