Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Museum Folkwang - (Mis)Understanding Photography

Aneta Grzeszykowska Untitled Film Stills #3, 2006
Running from June 14 through until August 17, (Mis)Understanding Photography – Works and Manifestos, is a large-scale exhibition of key contemporary photo-works, projects, films and installations by a wide range of artists, Tacita Dean, Hans-Peter Feldmann, John Hilliard, Erik Kessels, Sherrie Levine, Ugo Mulas, Barbara Probst, Timm Rautert, Thomas Ruff, Wolfgang Tillmans, Timm Ulrichs, Gillian Wearing, Christopher Williams and more than thirty others, takes for granted photography's centrality in contemporary art.

Ever since its invention 175 years ago artists have consistently questioned the nature of photography. Today artists acutely aware of the omnipresence of photographic images produce works exploring numerous aspects of photography: its materiality, its popularism, its psychological impact, its claims to objectivity, and its force in mass media. Against a familiar backdrop of the accelerating disappearance of analog photography and the simultaneously triumphal progress of digital photography, these works explore new ways of re-picturing and inhabiting that history.

(Mis)Understanding Photography presents a history of photography wild and ironic, melancholic and resolved at the same time it sets sights on the old longings and obsessions that people still connect with the camera.
Within this exhibition is another exhibition – Manifestos – presenting groundbreaking texts by those who are always the most radical writers on photography: photographers themselves. László Moholy-Nagy, August Sander, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Martha Rosler and Germaine Krull and many others wrote strong declarative texts – in a 20th century context of avantgarde movements deeply wound up with photography announcing their intentions in seminal publications of all sorts and even radio broadcasts exhorting readers and listeners to see the world with new eyes through the new medium. Reflected in an elaborate spatial scenography, the manifestos are displayed alongside photographic incunabula of their authors.

Museum Folkwang, Museumsplatz 1, 45128 Essen 

Kenneth Josephson New York State, 1970

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