Exhibition: COLLAGE III – Subject


Fotogalerie Wien, Vienna, 13. 3. – 14. 4. 2018

Dadaist and poet Tristan Tzara called the invention of the collage the most revolutionary moment in the development of painting and meant by that the fundamental break with established forms of artistic representation that it symbolised. Implicit to the technical processes of what comprises collage — gluing  (Fr. coller), scratching, cutting, tearing, folding, mounting, assembling and de-composing etc. is the potential for radicality. While the papiers collés of the Cubists drew their sustenance from used, discarded and apparently banal sources, we are surrounded today with multiply reproduced, re-formatted and re-edited copies of constantly accumulating digital debris. The current focus of the Fotogalerie Wien will present four exhibitions and includes a wide spectrum of methods and processes used in collage in contemporary photo and video art. This renders the narrative and autopoietic strengths of this art form visible along with its innovatory energy as one of its fundamental and most evident characteristics, especially in relation to new technologies or spatial and sculptural expansions. The drift of the images is also always guided by energies that are anarchistic, driven by chance and play.

The focus of the third show of the 2017/18 special topic consists of works which take up a specific subject area or motif and place it at the centre of a process of reflection. This makes clear how collage has the ability to render the familiar unfamiliar and so to compress reality that what is beyond depiction and representation and outside habitual ways of seeing is rendered visible. Domains are created that follow their own rules; visual constellations remain abstract while simultaneously unfolding their documentary character through their explicit references to reality, picking up the pre-existing, bearing witness. Their critical potential derives in no small way from the fact that they draw on reality in order to dissect it, to draw over and displace it. And so they show things as they never were but yet as they really are. Artistic deconstruction, the alienating appropriation of found image material and its mechanisms, lays open how images function and the ideologies that are transported through them.

With works by: Josif Kiraly, Tim Sharp, Broomberg & Chanarin, Tanja Deman, Bernhard Hosa, Petra Jansová, Stephanie Kiwitt