Press information

Double Exposure


Press preview
24.11.2023, 11 am

24.11.2023, 6 pm

25.11.2023 – 28.1.2024

Opening hours
Tue – Sun and bank holidays
10 am – 6 pm

With works by
Rebekka Bauer, Oliver Husain & Kerstin Schroedinger, Sara-Lena Maierhofer, Sim Chi Yin,
and: Lisa Holzer, Flo Maak, Sophie Meuresch, Georg Petermichl, Stefanie Seufert, Niklas Taleb.

Curated by
Anna Voswinckel


Press Information

The exhibition Double Exposure is a continuation of the investigation into the continuities and transformations of subjective visual languages in artistic photography that began in the previous group exhibition Exposure (September 16–November 12, 2023). By combining works by different generations of artists and referring to the ambiguity of the term “exposure,” which describes not only the photographic exposure process but also the act of exposing bodies or life circumstances, artistic approaches were presented that reflect on references to reality through the indexical medium of photography, and that make one’s own embeddedness in (human and nonhuman) relational structures visible. In Double Exposure, on the other hand, the focus is on works that have been developed from found image archives or collections, and that through visually (re)writing unavailable or repressed experience react to the dispositives of the respective media and the aesthetics of the image.

In analogue photography, when a negative is exposed to light multiple times, it’s referred to as a double exposure. Multiple exposures occur when the photographer accidentally or intentionally fails to advance the film in the camera, re-exposing material that has already been exposed to light. In this way, the negative becomes inscribed with several photographic imprints that can be spaced out in time. In the exhibition Double Exposure, the title serves as a metaphor for processes of memory politics that are explored and transformed through randomly found images or specific archive viewings. What does it mean to expose oneself repeatedly to inscription?

Relating to the discourse concerning the restitution of cultural assets and the reorientation of the collections in European institutions, Sara-Lena Maierhofer’s series Kabinette (2018–19) examines the role of photography as an archival medium that, in historical terms, is closely conjoined with the colonial perspective. Against this background, and from a white European perspective, how can one decolonialize one’s own artistic practice? By relocating documentary processes to the darkroom, where the artist uses direct exposure on various materials to re-enact the view into the museum depot, Maierhofer sets in motion a process of reflection on questions of documentation and the evaluation of (colonial) archives.

An investigation of colonialism’s complex, transnational political entanglements and its traumatic effects on (family) biographies forms the starting point of Sim Chi Yin’s multimedia practice. Inspired by research into the life of her grandfather, whom the British colonial authorities deported to China and murdered there in 1949, the artist spent ten years studying the Malayan Emergency, the anti-colonial war of 1948–1960. The history of the deportation and the complex diasporic movement between China and Southeast Asia are interwoven in the two-channel film The Mountain That Hid (2022). The Suitcase Is a Little Bit Rotten (2023) is an artistic intervention into a colonial picture archive. As the basis for her work, the artist used found laterna magica glass slides from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, designed in the UK to advertise the British Malaya colony. By inserting her grandfather and her child into the glass slides in the form of barely perceptible details, Sim subjectifies the objectifying gaze inherent in colonial projection and expands the photographically mediated, cross-generational process of memory work.

Rebekka Bauer’s mixed-media installation Die Aufstellung (The Constellation, 2020–present) brings together hundreds of homemade metal objects from her grandfather’s estate and a collection of private photographs from the National Socialist years with family photos spanning several decades. Die Aufstellung is an experimental arrangement that changes depending on the exhibition context; the work inquires into the artist’s relationship to her grandfather’s legacy, which is historically and psychologically complex. Using methods of composition and montage, the installation searches for clues as to how unprocessed history and violence carry through family biographies and leave their mark on bodies and relationships.

In a joint artistic research project, Oliver Husain and Kerstin Schroedinger combine material experiments, historical research, and performance into a multi-channel installation titled DNCB (2021). The chemical dinitrochlorobenzene, used for color developing in photo labs, was discovered by doctors and patients in San Francisco in the 1980s during the AIDS crisis as an alternative treatment for Kaposi’s sarcoma; in risky experiments, it was directly applied to the skin. In their video installation, the artists draw parallels between the surfaces of skin and film, between color developing, exposure, poisoning, and healing, between self-medication and independent film developing labs. In the process, DNCB uncovers a little-known history of research and a movement that are linked in a unique way to the history of analogue photography.

The group exhibition Double Exposure will be integrated into the structure of the previous exhibition Exposure and will resonate with the remaining works as well as the voids. In this way, the four projects of the Double Exposure part of the exhibition introduce a second level of reflection into the space; at the same time, they are commented on and complemented by the remaining works of the first exhibition part. A new pictorial space arises through juxtaposition and overlaying—it might be understood as a reflection of the exhibiting of photographic positions in a post-digital realm of image circulation, where it is rare to see photographs from different contexts of origin isolated from each other.

Exposure / Double Exposure is part of the curatorial project Fields of Focus, which investigates photographic practices within contemporary art in their respective social and political contexts. Serving as a point of departure are the terms exposure, reproduction, and transfer. Aside from their technical meaning within the field of photography, they open up currently relevant realms of discourse, such as the probing of visibility vs. vulnerability, the contested domain of reproduction work, or issues related to the production and transfer of knowledge in visual culture.


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