Unknown photographer, Arab Ladies’ Union group at K.D. Hotel (i.e., King David Hotel). Sept. 15. ’44. Courtesy: Library of Congress Washington, DC, Matson Collection. From the project by Ines Schaber, Dear Jadwa, 2009.
Camera Austria International 135
Featuring: Ines Schaber, Anselm Franke, Uriel Orlow, Sønke Gau, Willem de Rooij, Dirck Möllmann
Column: Omar Kholeif
“History is equally a question of knowledge and narration, and very much a question of the position from which it is told,” writes Anselm Franke in his essay on the works of Ines Schaber. He also writes that “a society receives its characteristic imprint at the margins.” With these words, Franke not only approaches the political core of Schaber’s works; he also sums up the key interest of the present issue: the image’s oscillation between the visual and non-visual, between seeing and knowing, a resonance between words and images that harbour an unnamed location from which they show things and from which they show themselves in order for something else to simultaneously disappear.
In his essay on Uriel Orlow, Sønke Gau also operates on the assumption that history is not simply a given and can’t be seen as an objective, homogenous, linear order. Methods of microhistory are one of the artist’s key points of reference in his works and are based on extensive research into histories. Accordingly, the points of departure for his research are specific locations that can be described as secondary settings. Places connected to events not accounted for in or omitted from the hegemonic historical account—its “blind spots” that are no less important, but represent intersections of various narratives.
Dirck Möllmann wrote four letters to Willem de Rooij, in which he inquires into and expands upon one of the artist’s works or series in a downright intimate way. “An artwork, like letters, lives from the gaps in reality, from stumbling in the machinery of meaning, that it problematises…You disseminate representations in a new way and thus turn them into images. They critically examine the seeing and making of pictures. Their context extends over into the political, the distribution becomes meaningful, critical, reflexive as always. Yet you work against the pressure to reference. This power throws meaning into limbo, both here and there.”
In an expanded Forum, we present ten young positions that illustrate the various tendencies in contemporary photography: formal experiments, approaches involving installation and performance, working with or establishing image archives.
The third Column contribution for this year by Omar Kholeif is titled “Carrying the Weight of the World.” The author considers the “concept of life at stake in our era, when the politics of the everyday have turned into an increasingly afflictive violence against the human body at a global scale.”
This issue is rounded off by Jan Wenzel‘s “The Revolving Bookshelf,” by responses to newly published books, and 18 reviews from seven countries, including: Black Chronicles. Photographic Portraits 1862 – 1948, National Portrait Gallery, London, United Kingdom; Made You Look. Dandyism and Black Masculinity, Photographers’ Gallery, London, United Kingdom; Ingeborg Strobl, LENTOS Kunstmuseum Linz, Austria; Mohamed Bourouissa: Hustling, Basis, Frankfurt, Germany; Watched! Surveillance, Art and Photography, Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg, Sweden; Triennale 50 JPG: 50 Jours pour la photographie, Centre de la photographie Genève and various venues, Geneva, Switzerland; Aglaia Konrad: From A to K, M – Museum Leuven, Netherlands; Danny Lyon: Message to the Future, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, United States.
Camera Austria International
published quarterly, 104 pages, German / English