Camera Austria International

146 | 2019

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  • KATHARINA SYKORA
    Writing Life
  • ANNIE ERNAUX
  • CHRISTIN MÜLLER
    When Historical and Contemporary Views Meet
  • JENS KLEIN
  • EILEEN MYLES
    the elevator
  • ALEXANDER GARCÍA DÜTTMANN
    In the Contemporary for the Contemporary
  • JOANNA PIOTROWSKA

Editorial

The close relationship shared by photography and literature is the focus of the summer issue of Camera Austria International. Some contributions gathered here take a literary approach, others a photographic one, yet all explore what is playing out at the interface between the two mediums and the ensuing narratives. Documentary photos unfold as adventurous narratives about German history or as seemingly absurd domestic scenes, while literary texts in turn make the poetics of the photographic image tangible.

Full text

Camera Austria International 146 | 2019
Editorial

The close relationship shared by photography and literature is the focus of the summer issue of Camera Austria International. Some contributions gathered here take a literary approach, others a photographic one, yet all explore what is playing out at the interface between the two mediums and the ensuing narratives. Documentary photos unfold as adventurous narratives about German history or as seemingly absurd domestic scenes, while literary texts in turn make the poetics of the photographic image tangible.

Écrire la vie—writing life—is the name of the volume released in 2011 by Gallimard which compiles a large portion of the texts published by the French author Annie Ernaux up to that year. In many of these books, the autobiographical writing of her life takes place not only on a written plane, but also through the medium of photography. At times it becomes evident on the pages, at other times through the content and materiality as described by the author, who sets out to make readers aware of a certain moment and to lend form to that which has passed. “In literature, she represents the same claim to reality as analogue photography by conjuring up the having-been-there of the speakers in order to subject it to a sociobiographical reading,” writes Katharina Sykora in her analysis of the photographic approaches found in the books by Ernaux.

Another form of narrative is developed in the work of the artist Jens Klein. To this end, he scrutinizes photographs from public and private archives, liberating them from their historical and social context. Christin Müller, in her contribution, traces Klein’s treatment of archival photographs and examines how partially speculative stories about the past are spun through this decontextualization of the individual images and their rearrangement in series, even balancing out the documentary character of the photographs: “Manifesting there is a vacuum which strongly urges us to fill it with stories. The images thus become planes of reflection for a fictitious activity that has little to do with the past and much more to do with our mindscape.”

The American poet Eileen Myles has developed, for Camera Austria International, a contribution titled “the escalator” (2019) which constellates quotidian scenes from Myles’s surroundings and her home through an interplay of image and text. Myles, who discerns “the other side of poetry” in Instagram, makes no effort to carve out the special facets of everyday life in these photos. Instead, she shows life in its manifest banality through quickly shot, technically flawed pictures. “I feel like what I do in poems I also do in photographs, which is to say that I’m wanting them to carry the sense of moving through the world, with stuff being apprehended awkwardly and indirectly rather than straight on.”

In her photographic practice, which is based on precisely choreographed stagings, Joanna Piotrowska focuses on family structures and everyday gestures, on how both are entangled in political, economic, social, and cultural contexts. In his text, Alexander García Düttmann immerses himself in the spaces, gestures, and structures portrayed by Piotrowska and investigates how the contemporary is defined today: “This artist pushes the act of photographic representation to the limits of irrefutable evidence, especially in that the images often indicate an absence instead of a presence.”

Christina Töpfer and the Camera Austria Team
June 2019

Cover: Jens Klein, k. A., from the 19-part series: Balloons, 2013. Archival pigment print, 40 × 30 cm. Based on a photograph taken from the archive of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic (BStU-Archiv).

Contributions

Forum

Presented by Susanne Kriemann
Alexander Theis
Jonas Zilius
Karolina Sobel
Rayna Teneva
Natalia Schmidt
Ulf Beck
Nis Petersen
Judith Milz
Iden Sungyoung Kim
Mustafa Emin Büyükcoskun
Isabelle Konrad
Philip Lawall

Exhibitions

Adelita Husni-Bey: Chiron
New Museum, New York
CARLOS KONG

Peter Friedl: Teatro
Kunsthalle Wien
Carré d’art – Musée d’art contemporain de Nîmes
RAIMAR STANGE

Not the Usual Suspects
South African National Gallery, Iziko Museums, Cape Town
SEAN O’TOOLE

Producing Futures: An Exhibition on Post-Cyber-Feminism
Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich
VERENA DOERFLER

Marge Monko: Diamonds Against Stones
Museum Folkwang, Essen
MORITZ SCHEPER

Benoît Platéus: One Inch Off
WIELS, Brussels
Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn
STEVEN HUMBLET

Laurie Robins: ‘FREE TRADE OR ELSE’*
South London Gallery, London
CHRIS FITE-WASSILAK

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: Der Maler als Fotograf
Museum der Moderne Salzburg
ULRIKE MATZER

Global National: Art on Right-Wing Populism
Haus am Lützowplatz (HaL), Berlin
The Alt-Right Complex: On Right-Wing Populism Online
Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV), Dortmund
CASPAR SHALLER

Agency of Singular Investigations: Flower Power. Archive
Triumph Gallery, Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMoMA)
ANDREY SHENTAL

Lorenza Böttner: Requiem für die Norm
Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart
MARIE HIMMERICH

Martine Syms: Boon
Secession, Vienna
KATHI HOFER

Net Art Anthology
anthology.rhizome.org, 2016–18
The Art Happens Here: Net Art’s Archival Poetics
New Museum, New York
Michael Connor, Aria Dean, Dragan Espenschied (eds.): The Art Happens Here: Net Art Anthology
Rhizome, New York 2019
DOMENICO QUARANTA

Books

Luca Lo Pinto (ed.): Babette Mangolte. Selected Writings, 1998–2015
Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Sternberg Press, Berlin 2018
JACOB KORCZYNSKI

Talia Chetrit: Showcaller
MACK, London 2019
REBECCA WILTON

Steffen Siegel: Fotogeschichte aus dem Geist des Fotobuchs
Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2019
TACO HIDDE BAKKER

Michalis Pichler (Hg.): Publishing Manifestos
The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA/London; Miss Read, Berlin 2019
REGINE EHLEITER

Talking Books
Erik van der Weijde in Conversation with . . . Brad Feuerhelm
Dein Kampf – MACK, London

Imprint

Publisher: Reinhard Braun

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

Editor-in-Chief: Christina Töpfer.
Editor: Margit Neuhold.

Translations: Dawn Michelle d’Atri, Amy Klement, Lina Morawetz, Wilfried Prantner.

English Proofreading: Dawn Michelle d’Atri.

Acknowledgments: Moritz Appich, Ulf Beck, Christel Boget, Mustafa Emin Büyükcoskun, Solène Carrer, Alexander García Düttmann, Nela Eggenberger, Annie Ernaux, Brad Feuerhelm, Sonja Finck, Geneviève Fumeron, Ira Grünberger, Jens Klein, Aleksander Komarov, Isabelle Konrad, Susanne Kriemann, Philip Lawall, Marc Marie, Judith Milz, Christin Müller, Eileen Myles, Sean O’Toole, Nis Petersen, Joanna Piotrowska, María Inés Plaza Lazo, Veronika Rühl, Friederike Schäfer, Moritz Scheper, Natalia Schmidt, Karolina Sobel, Pauł Sochaki, Nina Strand, Iden Sungyoung Kim, Katharina Sykora, Rayna Teneva, Rein Jelle Terpstra, Alexander Theis, Erik van der Weijde, Daniela Zehetner, Jonas Zilius.

Copyright © 2019

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 978-3-902911-51-3
ISSN 1015 1915
GTIN 4 19 23106 1600 5 00146