07–09
2014
 
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Events Current

26.07.–21.09.2014

Punctum
Reflections on Photography

Opening: Fr, 25 July 2014, 8 p.m.
Introduction by Séamus Kealy, Director of the Salzburger Kunstverein

I was overcome with an ‘ontological’ desire: I wanted to learn at all costs what Photography was ‘in itself’ …
Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida

Exhibition videos

Punctum is an exhibition about the nature of photography today. Consisting of fifty photographs and artworks chosen by artists, curators and writers, and including a series of lectures and a publication, Punctum takes its cue from the term “punctum” coined by Roland Barthes in his final book Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. Barthes uses this term as a linguistic device to examine the meaning of photography. The term refers, for example, to a striking detail in the photograph that captivates or “wounds” the viewer, and completes the photograph as an object of reflection. Barthes goes much further than this, and ascribes a number of phenomenological considerations within the sphere of meaning that is “punctum.”

This exhibition takes this concept and term of “punctum” as a starting point for invited participants to select photographs that, for each of them, are emblematic of “punctum,” given today’s context for photography and our constant grappling with aesthetics. Accompanying each chosen photograph is a short text to complement and elucidate their decision. The backdrop to this project are the ongoing ontological considerations for photography, especially now, long after its digitization and further universalization. Photography has always been a problematic medium, as a so-called indexical form, as a replacer of memory, as a manipulated device, as an instrument of surveillance, control and militarism, and even as an often-disputed art form. With photography’s evolution into the digital age, these problematics have arguably multiplied. Author Geoff Dyer, for example, argues that digital photography “seems devoid of any qualities of past time,” that it itself no longer holds the qualities that Barthes would have ascribed to it. According to Barthes, the photograph is the “living image of a dead thing” and thus has something of “resurrection” to it. Would that sentiment hold today, when the photograph has become engulfed within the constant, ever-changing and unfixed flow of images? Would we today agree to refer to Barthes’ terms such as the “profound madness,” “shared hallucination,” or “the Intractable” as the elemental forms of a photograph? Today, we might ask, what is its ontological status?

Accompanying this exhibition is a lecture series on topical subjects of photography today. A publication co-produced with Fotohof edition is presented at the end of the exhibiton. Lastly, a collaborative public response to Punctum is mounted during the exhibition’s duration at the Salzburger Kunstverein. See Punctum Photo Contest to participate.

Curator: Séamus Kealy

Participants/Artists&Photographers:
Hildegund Amanshauser (AT) – Ines Doujak (AT)
Kader Attia (F) – Kader Attia
Geoffrey Batchen (NZ) – Alison Rossiter (USA)
Sabine Bitter/Helmut Weber (AT) – Sabine Bitter/Helmut Weber
Marc De Blieck (BE) – Albrecht Meydenbauer (DE)
Iñaki Bonillas (MX) – Iñaki Bonillas
Adam Budak (PL) – unknown
Duncan Campbell (IE) – Willie Doherty (IE)
Philippe van Cauteren (BE) – unknown
Vaari Claffey (IE) – Paul Allen (USA)
Moyra Davey (CA) – Moyra Davey
Geoff Dyer (GB) – Oscar de Marcos (E)
Antje Ehmann (DE) – Antje Ehmann
Silvia Eiblmayr (AT) – Francesca Woodman (USA)
Sabine Folie (AT) - Klaus Scherübel (AT)
Maria Fusco (GB) – unknown
Gauri Gill (IND) – Gauri Gill
Felix Gmelin (DE/SE) – Felix Gmelin
Barbad Golshiri (IR) – Barbad Golshiri
Boris Groys (RUS) – Natalia Nikitin (RUS)
Eva Grubinger (AT) – Ed van der Elsken (NL)
Karin Hanssen (BE) – unknown
Martin Herbert (GB) – August Sander (DE)
Matthias Herrmann (AT) – Matthias Herrmann
Antonia Hirsch (DE) – unknown
Martin Hochleitner (AT) – Rainer Iglar (AT)
Ruth Horak (AT) – Tatiana Lecomte (F)
Geoffrey James (CA) – Geoffrey James
Anna Jermolaewa (RUS/AT) – Anna Jermolaewa
Simone Kappeler (CH) – Simone Kappeler
Eva Kotátková (CZ) – Eva Kotátková
Suzanne Lafont (F) – Suzanne Lafont
Wilfried Lentz (NL) – Carleton Watkins (USA)
Declan Long (IE) – Tom Wood (IE)
Ken Lum (CA) – Ken Lum
Anja Manfredi (AT) – Anja Manfredi
Francis McKee (IE) – Pablo Guardiola (PR)
Rabih Mroué (RL) – unknown
Doina Popescu (CA) – Spring Hurlbut (CA)
Barbara Probst (DE) – Andreas Wutz (DE)
Meggy Rustamova (GE/BE) – unknown
Mark Sealy (GB) – Robert Lebeck (DE)
Corin Sworn (GB) – unknown
Friedrich Tietjen (DE) – unknown
Walker & Walker (IE) - Walker & Walker
Scott Watson (CA) - Carlo Gentile (IT)
Peter Weibel (AT) – Hiroshi Sugimoto (J)
Louwrien Wijers (NL) – Cathrien van Ommen (NL)
Paolo Woods (NL/CA) – Paolo Woods
Tobias Zielony (DE) – Seiichi Furuya (J)

In memoriam Robert Lebeck & Dermot Healy

Spring Hurlbut, Deuil II: James # 5, 2008, pigment print, 72,4 x 
82,6 cm (selected by Doina Popescu)

Spring Hurlbut, Deuil II: James # 5, 2008, pigment print, 72,4 x
82,6 cm (selected by Doina Popescu)
Photo: Georgia Scherman Projects, Toronto

Spring Hurlbut, Deuil II: James # 5, 2008, pigment print, 72,4 x 
82,6 cm (selected by Doina Popescu)



Punctum (07/26-09/21/2014)
“I was overcome with an ‘ontological’ desire: I wanted to learn at all costs what Photography was ‘in itself’ …” —Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida.

Punctum is an exhibition about the nature of photography today. Consisting of fifty photographs and artworks chosen by artists, curators and writers, and including a series of lectures and a publication, Punctum takes its cue from the term “punctum” coined by Roland Barthes in his final book “Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography.”
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