Camera Austria International

129 | 2015

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  • EMMA BALKIND
    Communitas: The Commons Subject and the Subject of Community
  • Communitas
  • TOM HOLERT
    Art Is Concrete: How Concrete. Art and Efficacy
  • ART IS CONCRETE
  • BORIS BUDEN
    Unexpected Encounters: Contemporary in the Past?
  • UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTERS
  • JALEH MANSOOR
    The Militant Image: Notes on Anti-Representation, Negative Articulation, and Political Resistance
  • THE MILITANT IMAGE
  • THE SHELL
    Eiko Grimberg, Marco Poloni, Clemens von Wedemeyer
  • CINENOVA FEMINIST FILM AND VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR
    EMMA HEDDITCH, LOUISE SHELLEY – Cinenova: Different Hands

Preface

It may not be a classic anniversary year, but we nonetheless feel that thirty-five years of publishing our magazine offer—alongside various festivities—an opportunity to question our own practice. The project Camera Austria first began as an exhibition programme in 1975 at the Forum Stadtpark in Graz, and exhibiting artwork is still today a vital focus of our work, second to the publication of the magazine. It is always a challenge to interrelate these two very different spaces and activities—exhibiting and publishing—without allowing either to become an illustration of the other respectively. With the issue at hand, we are aiming to juxtapose these two practices and to lend a visual presence in the magazine to those explorative questions that have occupied us during the last four years of presenting exhibitions.
For the current issue, we have invited four authors to each explore one of four exhibition projects since 2011, drawing on related issues so as to continue, update or even rewrite the exhibitions, now in the magazine context: the two-part exhibition project “Communitas: The Unrepresentable Community” and “Communitas: Among Others” (2011), “Art Is Concrete” (2012–13), “Unexpected Encounters” (2013), and “The Militant Image” (2014). All of these projects have become immersed in extensive discourse and have set out to present the artistic works exhibited as practice that is also of theoretical significance. Against this background, the “material” published in our magazine is not to be viewed as documentation but rather as various acts of translating the exhibitions into the topology of the magazine.

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Camera Austria International 129 | 2015
Preface

It may not be a classic anniversary year, but we nonetheless feel that thirty-five years of publishing our magazine offer—alongside various festivities—an opportunity to question our own practice. The project Camera Austria first began as an exhibition programme in 1975 at the Forum Stadtpark in Graz, and exhibiting artwork is still today a vital focus of our work, second to the publication of the magazine. It is always a challenge to interrelate these two very different spaces and activities—exhibiting and publishing—without allowing either to become an illustration of the other respectively. With the issue at hand, we are aiming to juxtapose these two practices and to lend a visual presence in the magazine to those explorative questions that have occupied us during the last four years of presenting exhibitions.
Generally, this relationship is not explicitly addressed in the magazine, however, the two fields of activity of course still respectively provide each other with an important context. Indeed, we have always been interested in also translating the discursive space of the magazine, as a specific approach to thinking about pictures, into the exhibition space. In turn, the magazine can also be comprehended from a curatorial perspective—and, by translating artistic positions into a print medium, as a form of performative theory that transcends the boundaries between image and thought.
For the current issue, we have invited four authors to each explore one of four exhibition projects since 2011, drawing on related issues so as to continue, update or even rewrite the exhibitions, now in the magazine context: the two-part exhibition project “Communitas: The Unrepresentable Community” and “Communitas: Among Others” (2011), “Art Is Concrete” (2012–13), “Unexpected Encounters” (2013), and “The Militant Image” (2014). All of these projects have become immersed in extensive discourse and have set out to present the artistic works exhibited as practice that is also of theoretical significance. Against this background, the “material” published in our magazine is not to be viewed as documentation but rather as various acts of translating the exhibitions into the topology of the magazine.
In taking up the “Communitas” exhibitions, Emma Balkind writes about the connection between today’s subjects and concepts that are related to community or to the collapse of concepts of community, the ensuing consequences for the subjects, and the idea of the commons itself. “The commonality I have been seeking is one which can bring together certain themes that evidence the crossing over of narratives within different iterations of the commons, to make sense of something ‘in-common’ between these many iterations of what we consider to be commons.” This sharing and the shared, like community, are subject to eminent pressure: “There is a constant battle for the continuation of the commons as a form, and its attempted enclosure by capitalism. This preconditioning of the subject occurs when the idea of the commons itself is subsumed into capital through privatisation.”
Tom Holert, in turn, responds to the question of the relationship between artistic practice and the political—or to the assertion that spaces for showing art are inevitably of political nature, as reflected by the project “Art Is Concrete”—with an important differentiation between the two practices, thus ensuring that no opportunities would be missed “in relation to the philosophical project of incongruence between art and politics”. “A decisive task of art lies in the tangency that elicits a modification of the way in which the possibilities for action, for intervening in certain regimes, might be imagined. Such an effect eludes commensurability. It points to moments of the political situated at the dawn of change, moments whose connection to art is never obvious and always questionable. Yet undeniable all the same.”
“Unexpected Encounters” put up for negotiation the concern that the translation of political questions and political activism into art spaces would lead to the eminent culturalisation of politics, that politics would transmute into culture, which would accordingly call for its reconstruction within the related political dimensions. Boris Buden appears to verify that such translations and reconstructions may bring unexpected encounters to light when he speaks of the asynchronicity of the contemporary that invariably arises when the “West” thematises the “East” as having not yet arrived in modernity. “The otherness of the non-West, in the broad palette of its manifestations (from ‘East’, ‘Orient’, and ‘Balkan’ to the so-called ‘Third World’), is defined specifically by its late arrival in history, namely as a space that belongs to another time, or more aptly, to another dimension of time—the past. … Hence the events that take place in the non-West, as well as the darkness that radiates from these events, also belong to the past. It is not possible to be contemporary with them.”
With “The Militant Image: Picturing What Is Already Going On, Or The Poetics of the Militant Image” we posed the question as to what makes an image in today’s political and media-permeated landscape a militant image. It is perforce immersed in the same social and political relations that shape it and against which it is turned. Certain forms of power generate certain forms of militancy, and the militant image mirrors the plurality of power: it is part of the processes already playing out. In addressing the question of militancy, Jaleh Mansoor focuses on the current wave of protest in Canada in the struggle against the exploitation of natural resources on First Nations land. In this context, Mansoor asserts “that the ‘militant image’ only operates as such—that is, as an act of political agency and militancy in its own right—when it paradoxically rejects any explicit or immediate political efficacy.”
By referencing these exhibition projects in this issue, it is our intention to spotlight contexts and backgrounds that are presently fostering discussion about visibility and photography, about representations and their potentialities and limitations, about change and representation within society. In which discourses are the concepts that we use in the process shaped and altered? Which certainties do we take for granted, from which do we need to step back again and again, allowing their preconditions to move into view once more?
These issues also informed the decision to include a very unique collaborative project by the artists Eiko Grimberg, Marco Poloni, and Clemens von Wedemeyer instead of the Forum section of the magazine. Here, the artists approximate an equally unique site, Michelangelo Antonioni’s villa along the northwestern coast of Sardinia. Erected in 1969 during a period of upheaval and utopias, today the structure is decaying and may be read as a symbol of the downfall of those utopias due to shifts within society. In this sense, the project can also be seen as dealing with a kind of re-actualisation, with a probing of requisites and an exploration of the perpetuation of history.
With these disparate contributions, the current issue of Camera Austria International possibly reflects a sense of rambling, exploration, and fathoming. We hope that you as readers share the passion for ambivalence, for not-always-and-precisely-knowing-wanting-being-able, for the hypothetical and the possible, but also for what is different and for change. Ultimately, it is this passion for change in connection with this special issue that has inspired us to select an alternative cover design which more strongly expresses the visual sphere and the act of writing—the confrontation of the images and texts that permeate our magazine.

Reinhard Braun
and the Camera Austria Team
March 2015

Cover: Laurence Bonvin, from the series: Blikkiesdorp, 2009. Dimensions variable.

Entries

Exhibitions

Peter Piller: Belegkontrolle
Fotomuseum Winterthur
Centre de la photographie Genève
Städtische Galerie Nordhorn
Kunsthalle Nürnberg
ANKE HOFFMANN

Willem de Rooij
Arnolfini, Bristol
FRANCESCA LAURA CAVALLO

Elizabeth Price: SUNLIGHT
Index, Stockholm
YUKI HIGASHINO

Paul Sharits. Eine Retrospektive
Fridericianum, Kassel
RAINER BELLENBAUM

Erik Niedling: Eine Pyramide für mich
Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin
RAIMAR STANGE

Otmar Thormann: Ursprung
Fotohof Salzburg
CHRISTINA TÖPFER

Becoming Disfarmer
Neuberger Museum of Art, New York
RUPERT GOLDSWORTHY

Conflict, Time, Photography
Tate Modern, London
Folkwang Museum, Essen
Albertinum, Dresden
MATTHEW SHAUL

Afterimage: Images of Conflict
CIVICA Trento
SARA DOLFI AGOSTINI

The Future of Memory. Eine Ausstellung über die Unendlichkeit der Gegenwart
Kunsthalle Wien
ANETTE FREUDENBERGER

Look at Me!
Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam
TACO HIDDE BAKKER

Progress and Hygiene
Zachęta, Warsaw
JAKUB MAJMUREK

Chto Delat: Time Capsule. Artistic Report on Catastrophes and Utopia
Secession, Wien
HERWIG G. HÖLLER

Social Factory. 10th Shanghai Biennale
Power Station of Art, Shanghai
JULIA GWENDOLYN SCHNEIDER

Oliver Ressler: Die Plünderung
LENTOS Kunstmuseum Linz
CHRISTIAN EGGER

Jean-Luc Moulène: Documents & Opus (1985 – 2014)
Kunstverein Hannover
ANDREAS PRINZING

Books

THE REVOLVING BOOKSHELF
Hidden Pages. Über aufklappbare Doppelseiten in Büchern von Evelyn Richter, Pontus Hultén und Nicoló Degiorgis
Evelyn Richter: David Oistrach. Ein Arbeitsporträt
Henschelverlag, Berlin 1973
Edward Kienholz: 11 + 11 Tableaux
Moderna Museet, Stockholm 1970
Nicoló Degiorgis: Hidden Islam
Rorhof, Bozen 2014
Nicoló Degiorgis: Hidden Islam. 479 comments
Rorhof, Bozen 2014
JAN WENZEL

Learn to Read Art: A Surviving History of Printed Matter
80WSE Gallery, New York,
STEPHEN BURY

Johannes Schwartz: Tiergarten
Roma Publications, Amsterdam 2014
ESTHER DARLEY

Jaromír Funke: Between Construction and Emotion
Kant, Prague 2014
ROLF SACHSSE

A. Schulze: Mirrors and Others. Image Text Louvre
Spector Books, Leipzig 2014
NIELS VAN TOMME

Exhibition Histories
Afterall, London, since 2010
ALEXANDER DE CUVELAND

Drucken Heften Laden. Versuche über Theorie und Praxis unabhängigen Publizierens
neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, Berlin
REBECCA WILTON

Imprint

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

Editors: Margit Neuhold, Christina Töpfer, Rebecca Wilton
Franziska Schurig (Intern).

Translators: Dawn Michelle d’Atri, Amy Klement, Don Mader, Katrin Mundt, Wilfried Prantner.

English proofreading: Dawn Michelle d’Atri

Acknowledgement: 0gms (Kamen Stoyanov, Ivan Moudov), Rheim Alkadhi, VJ Um Amel, ArtTerritories (Ursula Biemann, Shuruq Harb), Emma Balkind, Yael Bartana, Martin Beck, Beirut (Jens Maier-Rothe, Sarah Rifky, Antonia Alampi, Habiba Effat), Sabine Bitter & Helmut Weber, Raymond Boisjoly, Laurence Bonvin, Boris Buden, Peggy Buth, Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkáčová, Youmna Chlala, Nemanja Cvijanović, Peter Friedl, Ganzeer, Erik Göngrich, G.R.A.M., Eiko Grimberg, Sharon Hayes, Emma Hedditch, Malak Helmy, Nina Höchtl, Tom Holert, Heidrun Holzfeind, Ahmad Hosni, Marine Hugonnier, Sanja Iveković, Pravdoliub Ivanov, Alfredo Jaar, Emily Jacir, Maryam Jafri, Anna Jermolaewa, Hassan Khan, Helmut & Johanna Kandl, Michael Kennedy, Yazan Khalili, Kontekst collective, KURS (Miloš Miletić & Mirjana Radovanović), Maren Lübbke-Tidow, Angelika Maierhofer, Mada Masr, Jaleh Mansoor, Jasmina Metwaly, Karolin Meunier, Rabih Mroué, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Stefan Panhans, Bojana Piškur & Ðorđe Balmazović, Marco Poloni, Matthias Rajman, Karem Said, Jayce Salloum, Ines Schaber, Stefanie Seibold, Louise Shelley, subREAL, Walid Sadek, Joana Theuer, Erik van der Weijde, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Paola Yacoub, Artur Żmijewski.

Copyright © 2015
All rights reserved. No parts of this magazine may be reproduced without publisher’s permission.
Camera Austria International does not assume any responsibility for submitted texts and original materials.

ISBN 978-3-902911-14-8
ISSN 1015 1915
GTIN 4 19 23106 1600 5 00129