For quite some time it has been claimed that photography is in crisis, or even that it is dead. We have now entered the post-photography era, and many artists who work with photography have completely liberated themselves from its referential indexicality, which has opened up for a host of new possibilities.
Thus, it is not photography that is in crisis but rather our mode of orienting ourselves. Photography in itself is more potent than ever, and we communicate both with and through images as never before. But what happens with our relationship to photography when it is transferred into our language as a new or expanded alphabet? Where, in this context, does photography stand as art?
Between 2014 and 2016, the artists behind the fanzine Débris, Nina Toft and Hilde Honerud, convened a group of artists and curators for an open discussion on the current state of photography.* One of the recurring topics was the relationship between form and content in the photographic image, and that surface and form have been given primacy over content and context. Neither physical form nor tactility are fixed elements in today’s virtual images, which is why it is particularly challenging to capture this relationship in words – indeed, the very issue can at times seem impalpable. So where does photography begin and end? And what happens to the image when the human body is no longer a part of the reading?
The seminar Framing Content springs from these open discussions to examine the status of the image as politics, as philosophy and as art. It will discuss the written and unwritten rules concerning form, aesthetics and content in different disciplines. It will also establish a temporal dimension to photography, which is necessary to enter into a dialogue with its content. Framing Content will engage in conversations based on artistic processes that stand in relation to photography’s status in contemporary society: for good artistic process will remain open, without drawing up limitations or defining questions – the outcome will gently find its form.
Alexander Carnera - writer and essayist based in Copenhagen (Moderator)
Presentation: Becoming who you are – Photography as a Way of Thinking
How do you become who you are? How do you live your own life, and not others? This is the path of learning to “see”, learning to think with images of exposed life, wonder of life. We are facing a new epoque: We are surrounded by images and literature but the significance of these art-forms are diminished, they have simply become one form of communication among many. But literature and liberal arts is something else. It’s about true freedom, knowing what´s important in life, learning to relate and to love the world and others. What is the relation between becoming who you are and creativity?
Klara Källström - Artist and publisher, based in Stockholm
Presentation: The Gap Between what is Visible and what is Told
Källström will be presenting recent projects from artistic practice, which are in collaboration with Thobias Fäldt. Källström & Fäldt has collaborated since 2011 with a practice grounded in the medium of photography, focusing on the production of knowledge, exploring media issues, historical narratives and the depiction and perception of political events.
Hester Keijser - Curator and director of Stead Bureau, based in The Hague
Presentation: I have nothing to say / I don’t even know how to begin to tell you all
Oslo notes on the curious absence of the viewer in the mind of the contemporary photography critic.
Responding to the theme of a seminar that speaks in terms of form, content as oppositional pairs, the relationship to the body and the assumed linguistic character of photography, it is worthwhile to ask if we even know what we speak of when we speak about form, content, surface, context. And how does this exactly relate to the human body? What compels us to take recourse to using linguistic categories for what isn’t itself language, what isn’t made up of words? What exactly happens when we talk with each other about photographs? What are the parts that remain silent, silenced, overlooked? What is it that we cannot stay with in speaking, if not the photograph as photograph, if not our body as a body? And what happens if the critic is no longer a living human being? These and other questions will be raised to unsettle, to uproot our impassable positions, so that we may become nomadic again in our attempts to lose our way. For how else can we let the future arrive?
Beathe C. Rønning - Artist and writer, based in Sande
Presentation: Is this Real Life?
Does reality exist, and can it be dealt with artistically? This is a topic that Rønning has discussed more than any other through her life as an artist. Intellectually, we can all agree that there are several realities. But the reality we claim for ourselves, what feels real to us, will nevertheless be a singular reality at the moment of experience. Rønning takes it very seriously as it appears to her: what feels solid and true, which she also accepts to be of a fleeting state. Not as a contradiction, but as a complex fact. Or actually, more like a raft.
Lars Willumeit - Curator and art educator, based in Zurich
Presentation: Imagineering – (Re-)activating the Photographic
In his presentation Willumeit will focus on his curatorial research and questioning of what it could mean to exhibit photography within wider contemporary mediascapes, presenting an exhibition shown as part of the Crisis? What Crisis?! edition of Krakow Photomonth at Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Art in 2016. Imagineering — a portmanteau of the words image and engineering — here points to the constructedness of visibility or invisibility, and to the embeddedness of images within wider ecologies of knowledge, visuality, meaning-making processes, and the specific historical, politico-economic, and sociocultural contexts of their power relations.
09:15-09:40 Introductions by Stephanie von Spreter (Fotogalleriet) and Toft Honerud (Débris)
09:40-10:00 Alexander Carnera – Becoming who you are – Photography as a Way of Thinking
10:00-10:30 Klara Källström – The Gap Between what is Visible and what is Told
10:45-11:15 Lars Willumeit – Imagineering – (Re-)activating the Photographic
11:15-12:00 Conversation between Lars Willumeit, Klara Källström and the audience
13:00-13:00 Beathe C. Rønning – Is this Real Life?
13:45-14:14 Hester Keijser – I have nothing to say / I don’t even know how to begin to tell you all
14:30-15:15 Conversation Hester Keijser, Beate Rønning and the audience
15:15 -16:00 Summary and open discussion led by moderator Alexander Carnera
* the group included Espen Gleditsch, Kaja Leijon, Line B. Løkken, Christina Leithe Hansen, Iselin Linstad Hauge, Jason Havneraas, Hilde Honerud, Eivind H. Natvig, Mari Sundet, Stephanie von Spreter and Nina Toft. It was united under the term "Débris roundtable discussions", by initiation of the artist duo Toft / Honerud who also established Debris Fanzine
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROGRAM VISIT: http://www.fotogalleriet.no/nyheter/seminar-framing-content