September 3, 2015 - National Gallery of Kosovo - 14th edition of the International Photography Exhibition Gjon Mili
September 3, 2015

14th edition of the International Photography Exhibition Gjon Mili

View of Supply Lines: Photography And Logistics, National Gallery of Kosovo, 2015. Photo: Jetmir Idrizi.

14th edition of the International Photography Exhibition Gjon Mili
Supply Lines: Photography And Logistics

7 August–7 October 2015

National Gallery of Kosovo
Agim Ramadani 60 

The National Gallery of Kosovo is pleased to present the 14th edition of the International Photography Exhibition Gjon Mili. Supply Lines: Photography and Logistics, curated by Richard Birkett, brings together 20 artists selected from a national open call together with invited international artists.

The exhibition includes works by: Din Azizi, Martin Beck, Ardit Hoxha, Majlinda Hoxha, Genc Kadriu, Antoneta Kastrati & Casey Cooper Johnson, Thomas Keenan & Eyal Weizman, Meriton Maloku, John Miller, Atdhe Mulla, Armend Nimani, Alban Nuhiu, Marina Pinsky, Josephine Pryde, Lucy Raven, Carissa Rodriguez, Sean Snyder, Kushtrim Zeqiri.

The technologies of photographic image production and presentation play a central role in numerous sense-making systems that aspire to delineate our reality—from the medical sciences to forensics, space science to surveillance apparatuses, drone warfare to social media. From this perspective, photographic media sit at a junction between aesthetics, science, and logistics, where image-capture on one hand services speculative processes and experimental methodologies of knowledge production, and on the other feeds information to ever-more precise algorithmic instruments intent on smoothing infrastructural flows.
As writers Fred Moten and Stefano Harney have identified, the present-day dominance of the field of logistics in our everyday lives and work suggests the development of capital away from a reliance on the subject: “For capital the subject has become too cumbersome, too slow, too prone to error, too controlling, to say nothing of too rarified, too specialized a form of life… Logistics wants to dispense with the subject altogether. This is the dream of this newly dominant capitalist science.” Under logistics, systems and logics are developed and refined with the aspiration to finitely gauge risk and map probabilities, as a means to maximize and standardize productivity independent of human contingencies. Meanwhile, strands of contemporary science increasingly service logistical capitalism not just by providing new instruments for data capture and analysis, but also through an isolation and quantification of neurological and biological capacities. 
The art of the last century also turned towards organizational systems, to contest the primacy of the author and that of the art object itself. While strands of art have given over to the autonomous mediations of technology, the application and deconstruction of linguistic and semiotic systems formed the predominant driving force behind critical artistic practices of the latter half of the 20th century, rooted in an understanding of art’s role as one of challenging the fixity of signs and interpretations that form distinct power relations. Alongside this critical attitude to institutionalism, however, contemporary art has itself become entwined with and mediated by logistics—a managed movement of artworks, artistic identities, ideas, discourses, and influences which shape its supposedly transnational disposition economically and socially, as well as geopolitically. With this in mind, contemporary artists’ application of organizational systems and technologies within the production and materiality of artworks bears a different weight.
Trained as an engineer at MIT in the 1920s, the Albanian-American photographer Gjon Mili, along with fellow student Harold Edgerton, is well known for having pioneered the use of stroboscopic instruments in the production of photographs, capturing a sequence of actions in one image. The 2015 International Photography Exhibition Gjon Mili takes this practice, of capturing movement within a single still image, as a metaphor for questions around photography’s relationship to science and logistics. How do artists using the medium today address its proximity to the analytical processes of the social and natural sciences? In what ways do they look towards photography’s informational capacities and its usage within organizational systems to make visible what Keller Easterling has called “the power of infrastructure space”? And if logistics seeks to open supply lines beyond the subject, where does that place photography as an artistic medium in which technology approximates the biological capacities of sight and memory, as well as the ability to circulate and aggregate images?
With the support of Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Kosovo / Raiffeisen Bank

14th edition of the International Photography Exhibition Gjon Mili at the National Gallery of Kosovo
National Gallery of Kosovo
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