Camera Austria International

116 | 2011

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  • BETTINA STEINBRüGGE
    Maryam Jafri: Silent Witnesses: Independence Day 1936–1967
  • MARYAM JAFRI
  • KATRIN MUNDT
    Sven Augustijnen: A Vault to Which One Keeps the Keys
  • SVEN AUGUSTIJNEN
  • AXEL JOHN WIEDER
    Global Prayers: Imaginations of a New Order Through Redemption. Images of Faith
  • GLOBAL PRAYERS
  • JOCHEN BECKER
    Global Prayers: Never Expect Power Always. Considerations on Light, Power and Religion
  • ANNETT BUSCH
    Michael Mrakitsch: Language in the Picture
  • MICHAEL MRAKITSCH
  • WALID SADEK
    A Time to See 4/4 The Present of Near-Blindness

Preface

A preoccupation with questions of communality has both distinguished this year’s exhibition program at Camera Austria and left its mark on the magazine. Next to contributions by Yael Bartana, Heidrun Holzfeind, Sanja Iveković, and Martin Beck, we are publishing works by Sven Augustijnen, Michael Mrakitsch, and Maryam Jafri in the context of discourses on politics of identity and representation, thus questioning the role of photographic pictures in the fixation of “ images”. “Independence Day” (since 2009) by Maryam Jafri shows independence day ceremonies in former Asian and North African colonies. They are presented as transition in the phrasing of a new representation for nation and for “own” culture, one that draws on rituals of the former colonial powers to the same extent that they remain obligated to a globalising semiotic language of “democracy”.
Here, the question of the constitution of community is positioned, so to say, at the meta-level of the nation-state. The protagonist of the film “Spectres” (2011), Jacques Brassinne de La Buissière, reproduces—by restaging the political murder of Patrice Lumumba, which still today remains unsolved—hegemonic patterns through which history is both exposed and assessed. Our discomfort at witnessing solidarity with the wrong side—Brassinne was employed by the Belgian consulate in Katanga at the time of Lumumba’s execution—is in fact a constitutive element of Sven Augustijnen’s film and photographs. He confronts us with the tenacity of a normative historical construction before it self-destructs under the pressure of a plentitude of contradictory evidence.
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Camera Austria International 116 | 2011
Preface

A preoccupation with questions of communality has both distinguished this year’s exhibition program at Camera Austria and left its mark on the magazine. Next to contributions by Yael Bartana, Heidrun Holzfeind, Sanja Iveković, and Martin Beck, we are publishing works by Sven Augustijnen, Michael Mrakitsch, and Maryam Jafri in the context of discourses on politics of identity and representation, thus questioning the role of photographic pictures in the fixation of “ images”. “Independence Day” (since 2009) by Maryam Jafri shows independence day ceremonies in former Asian and North African colonies. They are presented as transition in the phrasing of a new representation for nation and for “own” culture, one that draws on rituals of the former colonial powers to the same extent that they remain obligated to a globalising semiotic language of “democracy”.
Here, the question of the constitution of community is positioned, so to say, at the meta-level of the nation-state. The protagonist of the film “Spectres” (2011), Jacques Brassinne de La Buissière, reproduces—by restaging the political murder of
Patrice Lumumba, which still today remains unsolved—hegemonic patterns through which history is both exposed and assessed. Our discomfort at witnessing solidarity with the wrong side—Brassinne was employed by the Belgian consulate in Katanga at the time of Lumumba’s execution—is in fact a constitutive element of Sven Augustijnen’s film and photographs. He confronts us with the tenacity of a normative historical construction before it self-destructs under the pressure of a plentitude of contradictory evidence.
Committed to what clearly represents similar discourse are this issue’s contributions by Axel John Wieder and Jochen Becker: the exhibition “the Urban Cultures of Global Prayers” opened in November 2011 with works by fourteen artists at the Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Berlin, and will be on show at Camera Austria starting in January 2012; “Global Prayers”, in turn, revolves around issues related to the changing of the urban through religion, but also to the heightened visibility of religious facets within public urban space. The project contours problematic areas within pictorialities that uphold (apparent) knowledge, highlight and perpetuate differences, and introduce an insurmountable chasm within the state of “being-with” that pervades our societies.
Michael Mrakitsch was surely one of the most important documentary film-makers of the past forty years in Germany. His films, which have led him to Djibouti and Lebanon among other places, are distinguished by critical reflection on the ambivalent complicity of this filmic documentarian in terms of expectations placed upon his own images. His films are permeated by dense linguistic commentary, not on that which is taking place but rather on the conditions which lend themselves to viewing and filming. “Foreign scenes are familiar to us, the successors of the colonizers. So familiar, we barely notice how shyness at our cultivated curiosity can make people unwilling subjects.” These words by Mrakitsch congenially introduce the adjoining contribution by Walid Sadek on the “The Present of Near-Blindness” with which we conclude our fourpart column “A Time to See”.
The incessant surveying of preconditions for image production forms a common discursive horizon within the issue at hand—fostering discourse on (photographic) imagery as a still-contested visual terrain, as “documentality” as Hito Steyerl has called it. A concept that also addresses photographs as a form of politics and technology.
The Forum with six artists from Los Angeles was curated for us by Sharon Lockhart, all of whom collaborated to stage a compelling exhibition in magazine format.

 

Maren Lübbke-Tidow, editor-in-chief
Reinhard Braun, publisher

Entries

Forum

Vorgestellt von Sharon Lockhart:

AMANDA ROSS-HO

LISA ANNE AUERBACH

LISA OHLWEILER

ELAD LASSRY

ALEX SLADE

CARLY STEWARD

Exhibitions

Second Worlds
steirischer Herbst, various venues, Graz
WALTER SEIDL

Unheimlich vertraut. Bilder vom Terror
C/O Berlin
Seeing is believing
KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin
SUSANNE HOLSCHBACH

Terrible Beauty: Art, Crisis, Change & The Office of Non-Compliance.
Dublin Contemporary 2011
various venues, Dublin
MATT PACKER

The Eye Is a Lonely Hunter. Images of Humankind.
4. Fotofestival Mannheim Ludwigshafen Heidelberg
Verschiedene Orte
MAREN LÜBBKE-TIDOW

Rollenbilder – Rollenspiele
Museum der Moderne, Salzburg
DANIELA BILLNER

Ulrike Ottinger: Floating Food
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
REINHILD FELDHAUS

Haute Culture: General Idea. A Retrospective, 1969–1994
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
CHRISTOPHER RÉGIMBAL

Carlo Mollino: Maniera Moderna
Haus der Kunst, München
EVA MARIA STADLER

Gdzie Jest Sztuka? (Where Is Art?)
Gallery Weekend in Warsaw
KAROL SIENKIEWICZ

A Pause
On Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial)
various venues, Istanbul
BASAK SENOVA

Welt-Bilder 4
Helmhaus Zürich
WOLFGANG BRÜCKLE

Gründlich erfasst
Krupp. Fotografien aus zwei Jahrhunderten
Kulturstiftung Ruhr Essen, Villa Hügel, Essen
KERSTIN STREMMEL

Šejla Kamerić & Anri Sala: 1395 Days without Red
Artangel at 10–12 Francis Street, London
MACBA Barcelon
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
MARTIN HERBERT

Seiichi Furuya – Mémoires
Galerie Thomas Fischer, Berlin
CAROLIN FÖRSTER

Le temps retrouvé. Cy Twombly photographe & artistes invites
Collection Lambert, Musée d’art contemporain, Avignon
Chapelle du Méjan, Arles
GISLIND NABAKOWSKI

Ansel Adams: La Natura é il mio regno
Fondazione Fotografia / Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena,
Ex Opsedale Sant’ Agostino di Modena
GIGLIOLA FOSCHI

Books

Michael Wedel: Filmgeschichte als Krisengeschichte.
Schnitte und Spuren durch den deutschen Film
Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld
DREHLI ROBNIK

Daniel G. Andújar / Technologies to the People:
Postcapital Archive. 1989–2001
Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern
TOM HOLERT

Read Carefully
e-flux journal: Are Your Working Too Much?
Post-Fordism, Precarity, and the Labor of Art
Sterberg Press, Berlin 2011
No Order. Art in a Post-Fordist Society, N° 1/2010
Archive Books, Berlin 2010
JAN WENZEL

Imprint

Publisher: Reinhard Braun
Owner: Verein CAMERA AUSTRIA. Labor für Fotografie und Theorie
Lendkai 1, 8020 Graz, Österreich

Editor-in-chief: Maren Lübbke-Tidow (V.i.S.d.P.)
Editors: Tanja Gassler, Margit Neuhold

Translators: Dawn Michelle d’Atri, Aileen Derieg, Ewa Kaningowska-Gedroyc, Emilia Ligniti, Wilfried Prantner
German proofreading: Daniela Billner
English proofreading: Dawn Michelle d’Atri, Aileen Derieg

Dank / Acknowledgments:
Gosbert Adler, Gilles Aubry, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Sven Augustijnen, Jochen Becker, Kirsty Bell, Sabine Bitter und / and Helmut Weber, Annett Busch, Helmut Draxler, Florian Ebner, Katja Eydel, Frieda Hartz, Anne Hufschmid, Nadine Jäger, Maryam Jafri, Magdalena Kallenberger und / and Dorothea Nold, Susanna Kirschnick, Elad Lassry, Sharon Lockhart, Verónica Mastrosimone, Katrin Mundt, Cédrick Nzolo, Lisa Ohlweiler, Heidi Oswald, Sevgi Ortaç, Karin Rebbert, Katja Reichard, Amanda Ross-Ho, Esther Ruelfs, Walid Sadek, Sandra Schäfer, Surabhi Sharma, Alex Slade, Sabine Spilles, Eva Maria Stadler, Bettina Steinbrügge, Charly Steward, Jens Wenkel, Axel John Wieder, Paolo Yacoub

Copyright © 2011
Alle Rechte vorbehalten. Nachdruck nur mit vorheriger Genehmigung des Verlags. / All rights reserved. No parts of this magazine may be reproduced without publisher’s permission.

Für übermittelte Manuskripte und Originalvorlagen wird keine Haftung übernommen. / Camera Austria International does not assume any responsibility for submitted texts and original materials.

ISBN     978-3-900508-00-5
ISSN     1015 1915
GTIN     4 19 23106 1600 5 00116