Camera Austria International 133

Camera Austria International 133

Camera Austria

Heidi Specker, Re-prise: 110 photos de Heïdi Specker. Ed. by Ann
and Jürgen Wilde. Spector Books, Leipzig 2016.
March 21, 2016

Camera Austria International 133

Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Jens Asthoff, Mladen Bizumic, Hannes Böhringer, Hans-Jürgen Bonack, Taco Hidde Bakker, Stephan Keppel, Omar Kholeif, Julia Klement, Doreen Mende, Kito Nedo, Olaf Nicolai, Kathrin Peters, Andreas Prinzing, Heidi Specker, Tatjana Turanskyj, Stephen Zepke

The idea behind this issue deals, both loosely and inevitably, with two contrary moments in contemporary photography. On the one hand, questions are currently revolving around what photography even still is, how we can glean an image from vision, how we can “act upon” this image, and how it must be almost violently wrested from the medium. On the other hand, related questions overlap, exploring what could happen to these images—which regimes they will be subjected to and how they could be newly structured, as well as what consequences this might have for the dramaturgies of their meanings or, at least, the narratives. Ultimately, these regimes and consequences—like many of the initially contradictory demands placed on photography—lead back to a conflictual state that we have explored repeatedly in recent years: What is the photographic image able to achieve? What is expected of it? Doesn’t this fundamental ambivalence seem strangely anachronistic at a time that speaks of the post-documentary and tries to understand the image as emerging after representation?

For many years now, Heidi Specker has been exploring the specific visuality of photography in her various series and books. For this magazine issue, however, the artist decided to bring to the forefront a further moment in her artistic practice: an affinity for the filmic. A number of authors were invited to take such a filmic look at Heidi Specker’s work. In parallel, she drafted two different “screenplays” as part of her work over the past 20 years.

Jens Asthoff meticulously details how the practice of Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili is situated at the boundary between abstraction and object photography, as a kind of permanent semi-documentary oscillation between representation and transformation of the represented—especially when she scratches film material, experiments with photogram techniques, light stencils and gestures, without losing sight of conventions of the gaze and of representation in the process.

For Mladen Bizumic, photography is “both material and concept, a conjunction the work itself attempts to extrapolate,” as Stephen Zepke writes. In his more recent works, the artist probes the rise and fall of the Eastman Kodak corporation, which stands as an apt example of the upheaval to which photography was exposed during the transition from analogue to digital.

Stephan Keppel‘s contribution harks back to a sojourn in New York in the autumn of 2015, where he meandered through the city with Taco Hidde Bakker, the author of the essay accompanying his contribution. The urban and the semi-urban have long been the focus of his interest—the urban periphery, which he, however, does not conceive spatially, but rather as a state of order that vertically permeates the entire city space.

The first Column contribution for the year 2016 by Omar Kholeif is devoted to the question: “What is an internet aesthetic?” At any rate, he remarks that this aesthetic is in the process of transcending the “limitations of the screen, becoming part and parcel of reality.”

This issue is rounded off by Jan Wenzel‘s “The Revolving Bookshelf” and by responses to newly published books, as well as 14 reviews on 16 exhibitions from 7 countries, including: Transparenzen. Zur Ambivalenz einer neuen Sichtbarkeit, Bielefelder Kunstverein and Kunstverein Nürnberg, Germany; Marina Pinsky: Dyed Channel, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015, MoMA, New York; Jochen Lempert, Between Bridges, Berlin; Lina Selander, Moderna Museet, Stockholm; LaToya Ruby Frazier: Performing Social Landscapes, Carré d’art, Nîmes, France; Resistance Performed—Aesthetic Strategies under Repressive Regimes in Latin America, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich; Monuments Should Not Be Trusted, Nottingham Contemporary, UK.

Camera Austria International
published quarterly, 108 pages, German/English

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March 21, 2016

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