The “The Photographic I–Other Pictures” is an is the first part of a diptych exhibition in spread over two years and is intended to situate photography in the field of contemporary art at a time when, although the medium is ubiquitous, it is seen as something historical in relation to the new media. The exhibition comprises new and existing work by around 20 international artists and photographers ranging from the 1960s to the present.
By Dimitris Lempesis
Photo: S.M.A.K Archive
In our society, photographic images do not function solely as ornamentation. They also form part of the structure. At the same time, photography can act as an artistic free state for contemporary communication, where such contrary tactics as slowness and shifting operate. The photographic makes its appearance there as an experimental element in which the analogue and the digital, and the real and the virtual, meet. The selection demonstrates a lively interest in the power of the still image as a means of examining the world. It concentrates on indefinable images with an open view, whose multi-layering requires slow reading. John Szarkowski once formulated the familiar distinction between photos that act as a window on the world and photos intended to reflect their maker. The first part of the exhibition demonstrates that photographic images can perform both functions at the same time: they focus on the world and they invariably approach their subject in a subjective and sensory manner. Photographic images not only show the world we live in, but are among its essential building blocks. New ways of producing and distributing images, and technological innovation in the civil and military spheres, make the medium repeatedly evolve in new directions and also seep into current artistic practice. The way photographers and artists handle these recent possibilities and challenges is one of the focal points of this exhibition. On presentation are works by artists and photographers including: Lewis Baltz, Tina Barney, Mohamed Bourouissa, Moyra Davey, Marc De Blieck, Sara Deraedt, Patrick Faigenbaum, Peter Fraser, Alair Gomes, Jitka Hanzlová, Roni Horn, Stephanie Kiwitt, Aglaia Konrad, Jochen Lempert, Zoe Leonard, Jean-Luc Moulène, Zanele Muholi, Jean-Luc Mylayne, Trevor Paglen, Doug Rickard, Torbjørn Rødland, Michael Schmidt, Arne Schmitt, Allan Sekula, Ahlam Shibli, Malick Sidibé, Dayanita Singh, Wolfgang Tillmans, Marc Trivier and Tobias Zielony.
Info: Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.), Jan Hoetplein 1, Gent, Duration: 7/10/17-7/1/18, Days & Hours: Mon-Fri 9:30-17:30, Sat-Sun 10:00-18:00, http://smak.be