Camera Austria International

106 | 2009

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  • KAREL CíSAR
    Markéta Othová. Crystals of Time
  • MARKÉTA OTHOVÁ
  • FRANK A O UGIOMOH
    Pale reflections and fables of life: George Osodi's "real people" of the Niger Delta in Nigeria
  • GEORGE OSODI. OIL RICH NIGER DELTA
  • ROLAND SCHöNY
    Dariusz Kowalski. In the Panopticon of infinite Perception
  • DARIUSZ KOWALSKI
  • ALICE CREISCHER, ANDREAS SIEKMANN
    Why the Caquiaviri Inferno cannot be interpreted. On the Relationship of Image Production, Hegemony and Violence III

Preface

Once again, in this issue No. 106 Camera Austria features an array of aesthetic and conceptual positions that may, at first glance, appear very different, also in terms of content. The artist’s contributions and the accompanying essays in this issue look into questions of central importance in the current debate on the artistic and socio-political relevance of media that depict reality. The contributions in this issue set out to conceive art as socially necessary work, whose political significance, however, need not lie in the direct depiction of social facts but rather in uncovering layers of perception and description in which experience can be demonstrated and shared.
A critical, contradictory relationship to the sphere of the visual is characteristic of the conceptual photography of Czech artist Markéta Othová; her sensitive work, rich in variation – almost exclusively black-and-white photographs – revolves around questions of perception and the reliability of what we perceive. For as Karel Císarˇ expounds in his essay on the artist, “However, for a photograph, being indexical does not mean being faithful”. He cites her untitled diptych from 2008 as an example: “Othová has captured one and the same bunch of flowers, first against a dark and then against a light background, with the object thus being captured as light-coloured in the first photograph and dark-coloured in the second. Combined in a single installation, we will tend to consider these two independent images merely as a positive and a negative”.

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Camera Austria International 106 | 2009
Preface

Once again, in this issue No. 106 Camera Austria features an array of aesthetic and conceptual positions that may, at first glance, appear very different, also in terms of content. The artist’s contributions and the accompanying essays in this issue look into questions of central importance in the current debate on the artistic and socio-political relevance of media that depict reality. The contributions in this issue set out to conceive art as socially necessary work, whose political significance, however, need not lie in the direct depiction of social facts but rather in uncovering layers of perception and description in which experience can be demonstrated and shared.
A critical, contradictory relationship to the sphere of the visual is characteristic of the conceptual photography of Czech artist Markéta Othová; her sensitive work, rich in variation – almost exclusively black-and-white photographs – revolves around questions of perception and the reliability of what we perceive. For as Karel Císarˇ expounds in his essay on the artist, “However, for a photograph, being indexical does not mean being faithful”. He cites her untitled diptych from 2008 as an example: “Othová has captured one and the same bunch of flowers, first against a dark and then against a light background, with the object thus being captured as light-coloured in the first photograph and dark-coloured in the second. Combined in a single installation, we will tend to consider these two independent images merely as a positive and a negative”.
The most impressive form of presentation of the critical documentary work of Nigerian photographer George Osodi is a projection consisting of two hundred slides, that he put together from pictures taken between 2003 and 2007. In this issue we are featuring a selection from this photographic essay: His subject is the Niger Delta, one of the richest oil producing regions in the world. The wealth obtained by Nigeria here contrasts with the social, ecological and economical impoverishment of this region. In his work, George Osodi describes the impacts of decades-long exploitation on the “real people”, as he says. “In recent times, the impact of oil in the lives of most oil producing regions has been highly paradoxical […] I want to put a human face on this paradise lost”. The powerful effect of his individual pictures sets his work in the context of critical journalism; Nigerian artist and philosopher Frank Ugiomoh sets out in an aesthetic and image-rhetorical approach to examine the photographer’s subjective gesture against the foil of the political and historical context in which this work was done.
The third position we are presenting is the film and installation works of Polish-born, Vienna-based media artist Dariusz Kowalski, that focus on surveillance and observation images taken from the flow of data on the Internet. He does not, however, “translate their visual grammar, with classical stereotypes of the control dispositif, one-to-one into a politically coded discourse of surveillance, but rather raises fundamental questions about the experience of space and the placement of the subject within a panoptically organised geography”, as Roland Schöny explains in his essay on this work.
Along with the protagonists of these main features, we would like to thank all the artists, authors and translators who contributed to this issue: We are gratified that this issue ofCamera Austria once again reflects the firm international network without which a project such as Camera Austria would not be feasible. Many thanks to our readers, subscribers and advertisers for your continued interest, and we would be pleased to meet you soon at the art shows in Basel!

Christine Frisinghelli
May 2009

Entries

Forum

DENNIS NEUSCHAEFER-RUBE

MARKO ERCEGOVIC

KATRIN WINKLER

ULRICH GEBERT

MATTHIAS ZIELFELD

EVI LEMBERGER

ANDREAS BERTAGNOLL

STEFANIE SEUFERT

Exhibitions

Dan Graham: Beyond
SANDRA WAGNER

Why Roni Horn? Roni Horn aka Roni Horn
DENISE ROBINSON

Francesca Woodman
ALBERTO MARTÍN

Deimantas Narkevicius: The Unanimous Life
YOANN VAN PARYS

Guy Tillim: Jo’burg & Avenue Patrice Lumumba
ANNE BERTRAND

Weird Beauty: Fashion Photography Now / This is not a Fashion Photograph: Selections from the ICP Collection
STEVEN HUMBLET

Between Bridges London: Three-Year Anniversary
BART VAN DER HEIDE

Bewegung in der Zelle. Mathias Poledna und Christopher Williams
YILMAZ DZIEWIOR

Akram Zaatari
ANNETT BUSCH

In Wahrheit war ich nur Berliner. Erwin Blumenfeld: DADA-Montagen 1916 – 1933
CAROLIN FÖRSTER

Karl Blossfeldt: Pflanzenstudien und verwandte Positionen
KERSTIN STREMMEL

Big City. New York Street Photography
MARIE RÖBL

William Eggleston: Democratic Camera. Photographs and Videos 1961 – 2008
MAREN LÜBBKE-TIDOW

Tatiana Lecomte: Scriptures Without Words
REBEKKA REUTER

Christian Jankowski: And Now for Something Completely Different
MANISHA JOTHADY

Aus dem Raum raus. Filmbilder von denkbaren Subjekten an sichtbaren Orten bei “Concept Film” und der “Diagonale”
DREHLI ROBNIK

Books

Ariella Azoulay: The Civil Contract of Photography / Photography Between Poetry and Politics
TACO HIDDE BAKKER

Dana Lixenberg: The Last Days of Shishmaref
MAARTJE VAN DEN HEUVEL

Michael Fried: Why Photography Matters As Art As Never Before
BERT VANDENBUSSCHE

Diedrich Diederichsen: Kritik des Auges / Tom Holert: Regieren im Bildraum
KRYSTIAN WOZNICKI

Drehli Robnik: Geschichtsästhetik und Affektpolitik. Stauffenberg und der 20. Juli im Film 1948 – 2008
JOACHIM SCHÄTZ

Kaucyla Brooke: Vitrinen in Arbeit
ANETTE FREUDENBERGER

Imprint

Publisher: Manfred Willmann. Owner: Verein CAMERA AUSTRIA, Labor für Fotografie und Theorie.
All: Lendkai 1, A-8020 Graz.

Editors: Christine Frisinghelli, Daniela Billner
Editor News section: Heidi Oswald

Copy editing: Marie Röbl
English lectorate: Dawn Michelle d’Atri
Translations: Dawn Michelle d’Atri, John Doherty, Don Mader, Wilfried Prantner, Josephine Watson, Richard Watts.