Material Matters

Print Email

Artistic strategies in the Expanded Field of photography and images.
Artists: Philip Fürhofer, Gehrd Grothusen, Tore Magne Gundersen, Aage Langhelle, Randi Nygård.
Opening: October 18th. 7 - 9 PM
Opening in the presence of the Norwegian Embassy’s Counsellor for press andCulture, Anne-Kirsti Wendel Karlsen
Exhibition period: 19.10 - 03.11. 2012

This exhibition is based on the hypothesis that - against the backdrop of our contemporary technological and cultural landscapes - the reception of (art)photography is changing. In which way do these new conditions also lead to a modified meaning and position of photography?
This exhibition tries to map some subsistent changes and tempts to reveal how these changes are part of a process that leads to a new understanding and reception of photography as well as a partly change of content in the photographic terminology.
In general, the contemporary art seems to move in a cinematic direction rather than a photographic one. The majority of photographers and artists working with camera-based art in an expanded field were in the beginning mainly focussing on the traditional photographic object. However, many contemporary photographers in their own practice today appropriate and recode many different issues and methodes known from other media and artistic contextes, e.g. motives from paintings and filmscenes. In social media and interactive dialogues, the photo is still playing an important role, but other media and techniques such as video, animation or graphic depictions are partly taking over the role and position that the photo used to have. We also see that printed photos are often used as part of other artworks, such as installations or single art objects. Of course, the focus is mainly still on the photographic motive, but different layers of meanings are being created and visualized by their new physical appearance. What does it mean to work with photography under these changed conditions? Which role does a photo play, when it's only part of an artwork and comes along with more compelling forms? In other words, the exhibition tries to discuss the ontological and aesthetic conditions of photography today.
Several of the participating artists take their starting point in paper, photography's most common carrier. By e.g. the application of ink, the use of different paper types or printing media as well as other activities such as duplication, collage, drawing and cutting, the pictures are undergoing different physical processing types. This physical art practice is not new, but has been living in the shadow of more established genres such as Staged Photography and Documentary Photography.
The photography, that was the first »technical image«, was primarily used to communicate narrative and documentary contents, but seems to be operating more and more in an expanded field. A photo today almost seems to quote the established concept of »Photography« and takes over the position as a photographic effect in a more complex context than it was originally. It operates in new cultural and aesthetic spaces. The photography is going through a «reconstruction» in order to find a more actual position, especially in the contemporary art. You can see this ongoing change as a concequence of the tecnological, structual and cultural changes.
Contemporary photography may have lost the singular position in a restructured field, but the new cultural space is offering related positions in a team of different artistic practices. The game is not over for (art)photography, but the position has changed.

Short about the artists:

furhofer-detailPhilipp Fürhofer
«Fürhofer is painting everyday news on glass fragments, facades, entrances and doors. The public space is turned into a story-telling projection screen that lays beyond any commercial viewing patterns. He mostly constructs and dissolves open spaces. Especially important is the relation between nature, technology, science and research.»

potsdamerlandschaft-grothusenGehrd Grothusen
"Gehrd Grothusen uses the medium of photography, drawing, painting and photo copy for the technical, analog, digital and manual reproduction. From an ever expanding visual archive takes Grothusen individual motifs or closed series of images and makes it the starting point of his work.»

pg10wTore Magne Gundersen
«In his often enigmatic and ambiguous work, Tore Magne Gundersen combines a variety of media and techniques. Despite an element of black humor, the pictures insist to be taken seriously. Another feature of Gundersen’s images are the damped colors and the sometimes comic-like characters who reappear in several pictures and act in different roles.»

uncertain mapsAage Langhelle
«Aage Langhelle got the idea for this project in conjunction with the discussion about Google Earth's detailed photographs of urban space. He begins by pouring ink over the abstract cutout of a photo from the urban space. The result is an image based on the photo’s neutral technical grid and the ink’s expressive organic forms.»

der-augenblickRandi Nygård
«Randi Nygårds recent sculptures appear like three-dimensional collages, each presents an accord of shifting positions and perspectives. Formed by the recompositioning of printed material from books, magazines and prints, this work goes through an extensive process of cutting and folding, where strips of pages spring out and unfurl through the pages above.»

More about the artists in Archive