Artists: Tilen Žbona (SLO), Giovanna Torresin (I), Anna Watzinger (A), Katinka Theis (D), Roy LaGrone (USA)
Curated by: Vasja Nagy
Constructed photography, involving scenes or objects set up for the camera, is as old as photography, but it only acquired a name for itself in the 1970s. In this sense it was meant as the opposition to the concept of documentary photography and to be applied as an approach towards understanding reality in the medium. On the other hand we can trace back as far as late 1850s another technique in constructing a photographic image called photomontage. The latter involves a particular relationship towards reality that mixes together concepts of photography and collage but both may open a discursive field where theatrical and painterly melt together as well.
The exhibition proposed for the Schleifmühlgasse 12-14 gallery is based in the theoretic discourse dealing with concepts of presence, photographed reality in absence, truth and photographic objectivity. Although there are many issues that two approaches mentioned above share, curator decided to point out just the one that derives from photomontage because in a certain way is deals with the issue of reality in photography deeper than the other one.
Photomontage as the approach in visual arts was important way for constructing images in times of historic avant-gardes i.e. it was very common among Dada artists in the west and constructivists in the east, so to say. The second golden age was then from mid 1950s on applied by Richard Hamilton and Jerry Ueslmann for example but widely popular among a number of artists that art historians defined as being part of neoavantgarde. In the end we can see that the last decade brought forward a considerable number of photographers that approach to this technique with full spirit and in a sensible way. May it be hybrid identities and universes, kaleidoscopic visions, utopist ideas or apocalyptic fears that drive them into constructing this kind of images and build up the spirit of new generation of photomontage.
Apart from quality criteria, the curator made this selection of artists considering variety of their approaches towards the theoretic issues in constructing photographic images within the field of contemporary photomontage. The artists will be asked to produce a set-up especially for the exhibition or provide a previously made original work to present particularity in this case study.
A catalogue with a text and full colour reproductions will be published at the occasion.
Giovanna Torresin Anna Watzinger