Camera Austria International 136

Camera Austria

December 12, 2016

Camera Austria International 136

Featuring: Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, E.C. Feiss, João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, Gonçalo Pena, Maya Schweizer, Andreas Prinzing, Matthias Müller, Volker Pantenburg, Amie Siegel, Adam Kleinman

Column: Omar Kholeif

In this issue, we are focusing on transitions from the photographic to the performative, on passages in photography leading to the dispositifs of cinema and video, both of which are likewise engaged in a continual process of adaptation. What is awaiting us at the margins of the images? Are pictorial regimes themselves not being ever more strongly informed by paradigms that actually rest outside of the visual realm? Can answers to such determinism be discerned from the traces of superimpositions and collisions between the different pictorial regimes?

The work of Amie Siegel perhaps illustrates most clearly the concept of transition: the marble quarried from Dorset Mountain in Vermont ultimately ends up in the designer kitchens of the real estate coveted by the American upper class. Does this signify a shift in the meaning of a material, its transformation and adaptation as a metaphor for a strategy of converting the visual itself? As Adam Kleinman notes: “Riddled throughout Siegel’s work is a concern for what an object claims to be, and its existence and use in the world, usually derived through some form of inscription.”

The current work by Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, I WANT (2015), also transcends a gap or traverses a space of discrepancies: texts by the punk poet Kathy Acker are combined with chats and public statements by whistle-blower Chelsea Manning. The “ego” of the protagonist of the filmed performance—the artist Sharon Hayes—appears to be caught in a post-identitary space–time fabric, where she juggles various identities in a “temporal drag,” as E.C. Feiss calls it, permeated by “roving vocabulary and a set of aesthetic strategies.”

“Summoned from various corners of the earth, meteorites, twilights, cassowaries, spectres, hippos, and primates evoke the shapes of old laboratories, founding the archaeology of the unknown,” as Gonçalo Pena writes in reference to the work of João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva. However, the accumulation of objects and the superimposition of images are conceived with a general sense of incompleteness in mind, countering any act of closure or teleology—a furore of images and objects opening, working against Western logical structures of association and causality.

According to Andreas Prinzing, the principle of superimposition is evident in the work of Maya Schweizer as well, at the heart of formal methods and production of meaning. Her filmic works revolve around questions of history, identity, and memory that are associated with spaces and the perception thereof. Both her filmic images and her photographs set these spaces in motion—as points of departure, or densifications, of social processes and collective agency.

“Each image carries—sometimes openly, other times more subtly—the shadow of its past and mediatic migration,” writes Volker Pantenburg about the current work of Matthias Müller. As a compilation of private chat rooms streamed online, While You Were Out (2016) describes a state of absence, a moment in which the stream is disrupted—what remains is the seating of the protagonists of an online presence that is uncanny and banal in equal measure. So do these images speak of presence or absence? Or, if we consider the focus of this issue on superimpositions and collisions between the different pictorial regimes, does it not seem that the images traverse a space of indeterminacy, highlighting the margins of visual dispositifs, from which point they can be viewed once again and in a different way?

The FotoFest Houston offers international institutions and American artists an opportunity to exchange ideas. The Academy of Media Arts Cologne promotes dialogue between film, art, and science. Thereout, Wolfgang Vollmer selected artists who investigate the subject of identity by using photography and its media-immanent contingencies.

The fourth and last part of this year’s Column by Omar Kholeif is titled “Broken Flags: Towards a Possible Dream” and discusses the concept of the flag, since “artists have in recent times sought to consider the form and function of the flag as a euphemistic visual form that can be deconstructed and degraded in order to express their frustrations.”

This issue is rounded off by Jan Wenzel’s “The Revolving Bookshelf”, by responses to newly published books, and 22 reviews from 9 countries, including: Erin Shirreff: Halves and Wholes, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; Philip Gaißer, Carsten Benger: Ion Dam, Galerie im Marstall Ahrensburg, Germany; Recent Histories: New Photography from Africa, The Walther Collection Project Space, New York, US; Uprisings, Jeu de Paume, Paris, France; Yto Barrada: The Sample Book, Secession, Vienna, Austria; Sven Augustijnen, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Ireland; steirischer herbst 2016 – We can do this: On the Shifting of Cultural Cartographies, Graz, Austria.

Camera Austria International
published quarterly, 96 pages, German / English

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