October 19, 2008 - Preus museum - 80 Million Pictures
October 19, 2008

80 Million Pictures

Ahmad Faiz
Botanical gardens, Tøyen, Oslo 1976.
Photo by: Syed Mujahid Ali.
Private photography from the collection “Norwegian yesterday, today and tomorrow”, The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History.

80 MILLION PICTURES: NORWEGIAN VERNACULAR PHOTOGRAPHY 1855 – 2005
16.10.2008 – 1.2.2009


Exhibition at the National Library of Norway
(1855-1905) and Preus museum, Norway’s
national museum for photography (1905-2005)

Book, 432 pages, ill. (in Norwegian) Forlaget Press

Editors/curators: Jonas Ekeberg, Director Preus museum, and Harald Østgaard Lund, the National Library of Norway.

Kulturparken Karljohansvern
Kommandørkaptein Klincks vei 7
Pb. 254 NO-254 3192 Horten

www.preusmuseum.no

EXHIBITION AND BOOK ON NORWEGIAN VERNACULAR PHOTOGRAPHY

Now, at the end of photography’s analogue era, 80 million photographs are stored in private and public Norwegian archives and collections. The exhibition and book 80 million pictures – Norwegian vernacular photography 1855-2005 looks into this vast and diverse cultural heritage. This unique selection of images shows the historical, social and aesthetic significance of photography, and constitutes the most comprehensive presentation of Norwegian photography to date.

The selection is based on the idea of photography as an integrated part of private and public life, and on its function as a source for historical knowledge. Societal development is exposed through both major narratives and minor, unexpected stories. The images tell stories about social inequality, power relations and identity struggles. 80 million pictures forms part of The year of cultural diversity 2008, and shows that photographs are more than mere carriers of cultural history; they are an integrated part of cultural processes of change. As such, the project represents an alternative social history – the part of history that becomes visible through photography.

The exhibition presents 433 photographs divided among 63 series of images. Part one takes place at the National Library of Norway, covering the period 1855 – 1905. Thematically, this part includes images as diverse as portraits of criminals, a series of folk costumes, a photographer’s protocol from the 1870′s and documentation of lepra patients with eye diseases. Part two covers the period 1905 – 2005 and takes place at Preus. In this part, you will find images such as early Norwegian aerial photography, documentation of housing famine in Kristiania (Oslo), German propaganda photography from WWII, and group portraits of elementary school pupils from the 1960′s. The photographs are selected from and presented in collaboration with 34 of the most important Norwegian archives and collections.

The book covers both exhibition sites. The editors present the images in their historical context and suggest possible interpretations. In addition, the book includes thematic essays by Øyvind Storm Bjerke (University of Oslo), Knut Kjeldstadli (University of Oslo), Trond Bjorli (The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History) and Susanne Østby Sæther (Preus).

The exhibition and book include works by classics in Norwegian photography like Marcus Selmer, Knud Knudsen, Axel Lindahl and Anders Beer Wilse, as well as less known photographers like Hans Krum, Per Adolf Thorén, Sophus Tromholdt, Hannchen Jacobsen, Rachel Johnsen, Narve Skarpmoen, Tore Fredenlund, Ragge Strand and Oscar Puschmann. Unknown photographers also occupy an important position in this project.

The project is initiated by the National Library and Preus Museum. The book has been published by the kind support of The Freedom of Expression Foundation and Arts Council Norway.

For further information/book orders:

www.preusmuseum.no

www.nb.no

www.fpress.no/

Contacts:
Preus museum
hilde.herming@preusmuseum.no

The National Library of Norway
Daniela.buchten@nb.no

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