Camera Austria International

112 | 2010

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  • RAINER FUCHS
    Perception in Motion. On the Works of Ruth Anderwald + Leonhard Grond
  • RUTH ANDERWALD + LEONHARD GROND
  • WALTER SEIDL
    For a memorising appropriation of images: On the works of Šejla Kamerić
  • SEJLA KAMERIC
  • MERCEDES VICENTE
    On the works of Ann Shelton
  • ANN SHELTON
  • MERCEDES VICENTE
    On the works of Mark Adams
  • MARK ADAMS
  • FOUAD ASFOUR
    Silences and Gaps. Reflections on the work of the South African photographer Ernest Cole
  • ERNEST COLE

Preface

Once again we are pleased to present an array of very different artistic positions in this issue of Camera Austria. The contributions take the reader on a journey that begins in Austria, going on to ­Sarajevo and New Zealand, and ending finally in South Africa. In fact it is the examination of places, scenes and regions connected with history, individual and collective experience that links these works. Another point in common is that almost all of the artists featured in monographic contributions in this issue have already been presented in the magazine’s FORUM – in some cases already several years ago.
Rainer Fuchs introduces the work of the Austrian artist couple Ruth Anderwald + Leonhard Grond, focusing in particular on the reflection on media and perception in their photographic and cinematic work. In their current works, the artists draft new perspectives of representation and perception by destabilising familiar orders or illuminating scenes and situations that are usually hidden from view. Playfully, their photographs defy gravity or devote themselves to zones of transition and in-between areas (for example in their work “Notes on a Coast”, in which they explore the coast of Israel approaching to it from the sea) so as to lend reality and visibility to the unstable, the ephemeral and the changeable.
Walter Seidl gives an introduction to the work of Bosnian artist Šejla Kamerić. In his discussion of her photographic works, installations and films, he argues that the significance of Kamerić’s work is due to its link to recent history, namely the events of the Balkan War, that forms the historical foundation of many of the artist’s works. She recurrently relates her experiences during the three-and-a-half-years siege and bombardment of Sarajevo at the beginning of the 1990s to the contradictory value systems of post-communist Bosnia and Herzegovina that became established after the war. Šejla Kamerić’s work will also be on show at an exhibition (together with Tatiana Lecomte) at Camera Austria at the beginning of 2011.

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Camera Austria International 112 | 2010
Preface

Once again we are pleased to present an array of very different artistic positions in this issue of Camera Austria. The contributions take the reader on a journey that begins in Austria, going on to ­Sarajevo and New Zealand, and ending finally in South Africa. In fact it is the examination of places, scenes and regions connected with history, individual and collective experience that links these works. Another point in common is that almost all of the artists featured in monographic contributions in this issue have already been presented in the magazine’s FORUM – in some cases already several years ago.
Rainer Fuchs introduces the work of the Austrian artist couple Ruth Anderwald + Leonhard Grond, focusing in particular on the reflection on media and perception in their photographic and cinematic work. In their current works, the artists draft new perspectives of representation and perception by destabilising familiar orders or illuminating scenes and situations that are usually hidden from view. Playfully, their photographs defy gravity or devote themselves to zones of transition and in-between areas (for example in their work “Notes on a Coast”, in which they explore the coast of Israel approaching to it from the sea) so as to lend reality and visibility to the unstable, the ephemeral and the changeable.
Walter Seidl gives an introduction to the work of Bosnian artist Šejla Kamerić. In his discussion of her photographic works, installations and films, he argues that the significance of Kamerić’s work is due to its link to recent history, namely the events of the Balkan War, that forms the historical foundation of many of the artist’s works. She recurrently relates her experiences during the three-and-a-half-years siege and bombardment of Sarajevo at the beginning of the 1990s to the contradictory value systems of post-communist Bosnia and Herzegovina that became established after the war. Šejla Kamerić’s work will also be on show at an exhibition (together with Tatiana Lecomte) at Camera Austria at the beginning of 2011.
Mercedes Vicente introduces the reader to the work of two of New Zealand’s leading photographic artists – Mark Adams and Ann Shelton. In specific forms of documentarism, both examine the social, cultural and historical contexts of the scenes that they photograph. While Adams deals with New Zealand’s disputed and complex postcolonial history against the foil of references of cultural history and ethnography, Shelton examines places scarred by the violence and traumata of recent history, often drawing on popular culture sources. Mercedes Vicente refers in her text to David Campany’s idea of “late photography”, that proves extremely useful for the discussion of contemporary documentary, photography that is “not so much the trace of an event as the trace of the trace of an event”.
During our trip to South Africa, where we were invited to present the exhibition “I am not afraid. The Market Photo Workshop Johannesburg” and the 100th issue of Camera Austriaat the Johannesburg Art Gallery at the beginning of the year, we came across the book “The House of Bondage” by Ernest Cole (b. 1940) in David Goldblatt’s house – the book of a young Black photographer about the life of Blacks in South Africa that he began working on in 1964 and that got him summarily expelled from the country upon its publication in 1967. The tragic personal history of Ernest Cole and his untimely death made his photographs unavailable, with only this book remaining in the political discussion. The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg features a separate room devoted to large reproductions from this book. Uncropped original prints that Cole gave to the Hasselblad Foundation in 1966 were presented at an exhibition in South Africa and published in a monograph for the first time this year. (Only while working on this contribution was I reminded that Allan Sekula commented in depth on this book at the end of his 1986 essay “The Body and the Archive”, pointing out how ­understanding a single photographic image hinges so much on context and information.) We asked the Johannesburg-based author Fouad Asfour to present this important work that remains relevant to the current discussion.
This 112th issue of Camera Austria – the fourth of volume 2010 – is also the last one that Manfred Willmann and I have been responsible for as publisher and chief editor. As many of you already know, Reinhard Braun and Maren Lübbke-Tidow are taking over the work of the association “Camera Austria. Labor für Fotografie und Theorie” at the start of next year and will define the programme of the magazine Camera Austria International and the exhibition projects in future. Both have contributed significantly to our magazine as editors and authors of numerous contributions and have also been formative in developing our programme since the 1990s as curators of a number of exhibitions (including the current show “Milk Drop Coronet. 30 Exhibitions on the Virtuosity of Thingness”). While such a phase of hand-over and conclusion does involve some emotion for us, we are extremely pleased that this transition will be firmly based on a spirit of continuity despite the realignment involved.
The fact that Camera Austria, a project founded and run by artists, managed to become an institution, has to do with photography-specific and institutional factors in Austria; however, it is also thanks to our persistence, the willingness to take (artistic and financial) risks, and, not least, to good fortune: the good fortune of sharing thirty-five years of work and life time and (I speak for Seiichi Furuya and Manfred Willmann, too) staying committed to a joint project for the same length of time.
Our open-minded approach to photography and our understanding of art as socially necessary work very soon set the Camera Austria project apart from concepts that sought to define photography as an artistic means on the basis of aesthetic criteria alone. Being anchored in the artists’ association Forum Stadtpark at the beginning of our activity also prevented us from becoming a “purely” photographic institution. In a narrower media-specific framework, this allowed us to understand conceptual and documentary positions alongside hermetically poetic statements as relevant artistic contributions to general societal issues.
Photography has increased considerably in standing since our work began. Nevertheless, there remains much to do (particularly in Austria): public institutions and universities must make accessible the specific (also historical) knowledge underlying the various approaches to photographic practice and – as we have frequently done in this magazine – tie key artistic positions from recent decades into the contemporary discourse.

Our thanks are due to all those involved in our project from the outset: the artists and authors whose experience we were able to share and from whom we were able to learn. The numerous collaborators, whose commitment and identification with our project made this work possible in the first place. We wish to thank our institutional partners for their financial support of this project, and we particularly should like to thank our advertisers, readers and subscribers, whose sustained interest has always been the most important motivation and who will, we hope, continue to support the work of Camera Austria in future too.

Entries

Forum

EVZEN SOBEK

BORIS FARIC

SAMUEL HENNE

ADAM LAMPTON

NICHOLAS WINTER

NAK GYUN KIM

KATHARINA TIMNER

SIMONA ROTA

Exhibitions

A State Beyond Time
Dolenjski muzej, Novo mesto
SEBASTJAN LEBAN

Daido Moriyama and the Fondazione Fotografia in Modena
GIGLIOLA FOSCHI

Der schaffende Mensch. Welten des Eigensinns
Schloss Trautenfels, Universalmuseum Joanneum
ULRICH TRAGATSCHNIG

Human Condition. Mitgefühl und Selbstbestimmung in prekären Zeiten
Kunsthaus Graz, Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz
ULRICH TRAGATSCHNIG

Brighton Photo Biennial
New Documents – Photography as Social Reality
FATOS ÜSTEK

Opening of Le Bal, Paris
Anonymes. Unnamed America in Photography and Film
ANNE BERTRAND

Anti-Photojournalism
Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona
ALBERTO MARTÍN

Valie Export: Zeit und Gegenzeit
Unteres Belvedere, Wien
Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz
MANISHA JOTHADY

Christopher Williams. For Example: Dix-Huit Lecons sur la Société Industrielle (Revision 11)
DANIEL PIES

Willem de Rooij: Intolerance
Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
KIRSTY BELL

For the Untimely. Polytechnic
Raven Row, London
DENISE ROBINSON

Visa Pour L’Image 2010. 22nd International Photojournalism Festival
Perpignan
CARLES GUERRA

Lara Almarcegui
Secession, Wien
MILENA DIMITROVA

Cyprien Gaillard
Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel
FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims
Kunsthalle Basel
MMK Zollamt, Frankfurt a. M.
NINA SCHEDLMAYER

Books

Peter Geimer: Bilder aus Versehen. Eine Geschichte fotografischer Erscheinungen
Philo Fine Arts, Hamburg 2010.
TACO HIDDE BAKKER

Sally Stein: John Gutmann. The Photographer at Work
Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona, Tuscon 2009;
Yale University Press, New Haven 2009.
ROLF SACHSSE

Takuma Nakahira: For a Language to Come
Osiris, Tokyo 2010.
MASASHI KOHARA

Lorenz Engell: Playtime. Münchner Filmvorlesungen
UVK, Konstanz 2010.
DREHLI ROBNIK

Wojciech Wilczyk: There is no such thing as an innocent eye
Halart, Łódź 2009.
KRZYSTOF PIJARSKI

Die Ausstellung. Politik eines Rituals
Diaphanes, Zürich / Berlin 2010.
PETER KUNITZKY

Imprint

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

Editors: Christine Frisinghelli, Daniela Billner, Tanja Gassler
Editor News section: Heidi Oswald
Copy editor: Theresa Haigermoser

English lectorate: Aileen Derieg
Translators: John Doherty, Yoshiaki Kai, Emily Ligniti, Wilfried Prantner, Josephine Watson, Richard Watts