May 2, 2019 - Museum Ludwig, Cologne - Fiona Tan: GAAF
Subscribe
May 2, 2019

Museum Ludwig, Cologne

Agfa promotional photo, 1950/'60s. Museum Ludwig archive.

Fiona Tan
GAAF
May 4–August 11, 2019

Opening: May 3, 7pm

Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Heinrich-Böll-Platz
50667 Cologne
Germany
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +49 221 22126165
info@museum-ludwig.de

www.museum-ludwig.de
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Vimeo

Fiona Tan
GAAF
May 4–August 11, 2019

Opening: May 3, 7pm

Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Heinrich-Böll-Platz
50667 Cologne
Germany
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +49 221 22126165
info@museum-ludwig.de

www.museum-ludwig.de
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Vimeo

The Museum Ludwig invited the artist and filmmaker Fiona Tan (b. 1966 in Pekanbaru, Indonesia; lives in Amsterdam) to realize an exhibition project with the museum’s photography collection as the starting point. Fiona Tan’s work revolves around questions of time, identity, and memory. The archive as a time capsule has played a role in her artistic strategies of research and classification in previous projects.

Fiona Tan: GAAF takes as its starting point the Agfacolor advertisement archive—several thousand 6 x 6 color negatives and photographs which were taken between 1952 and 1968. This archive provided Agfa with material for advertisements, brochures, exhibitions, and the magazine Agfa Photoblätter. After discovering this almost forgotten and uncatalogued archive at the Museum Ludwig, Tan became interested in the inherent paradox of its images: staged and idealized scenes of models posing for professional photographers, nonetheless intended to appear spontaneous and authentic, as if taken by amateurs. “These images cause me to reflect upon the pose, upon artificiality versus spontaneity and authenticity,” says Tan who is making these images visible to the public for the first time.

The Dutch word gaaf—an anagram, or reordering, of the letters in Agfa—means “neat” or “perfect.” In this exhibition Fiona Tan focuses on the image and the role of women as portrayed in these photographs, drawing attention to the ideal as opposed to the reality of these formative decades in postwar Germany. Juxtaposing fantasy with reality, professional with vernacular, color with black and white, Tan confronts this advertising archive with documentary photographs from the same era from the Museum Ludwig collection and with a selection of her own works dealing with portraiture. Vox Populi London (2012) embodies an informal snapshot, a playful group portrait of a city. In Linnaeus’ Flower Clock (1998), Tan reflects on the nature of time itself. Intentionally blurring the divisions between film and photography, the six-part installation Provenance (2008) questions if it is possible to look at a film in the same way as a painted portrait.

Director Yilmaz Dziewior: “I’m delighted that Fiona Tan is opening up a completely new perspective on the photography collection at the Museum Ludwig with her artistic point of view. After all, the permanent collection is of central importance to our institution, and the way in which artists approach these works is particularly instructive.”

An essay written by the artist will be included in an artist’s book accompanying the exhibition, and there will be a program of films curated by Fiona Tan as well as lectures.

The exhibition is generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Russmedia.

Exhibition Curator: Fiona Tan
Curator, Photography Collection: Miriam Szwast


Catalogue
Fiona Tan: GAAF, in German and English, with a foreword by Yilmaz Dziewior and an essay by Fiona Tan, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne, 80 pages, 145 color illustrations.
 

Web and social media
The Museum Ludwig will be posting about the exhibition on its social media channels with the hashtags #MLxFionaTan #photoszenefestival #photoszene2019 #artistmeetsarchive


About the “Artist Meets Archive” series, initiated by the Internationale Photoszene Köln
International artists discover archives in Cologne: this is the idea behind the Internationale Photoszene Köln 2019 festival program “Artist Meets Archive.” As cooperating partners, six institutions each invited an artist to develop a project based on their collection. Apart from the Museum Ludwig, the institutions are: the Museum of the City of Cologne, the Museum of Applied Arts Cologne, the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, the Rheinische Bildarchiv, and the Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur.

Related
Share
More
Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Share - Fiona Tan
GAAF
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York