Applying their different perspectives, the six curators of Farewell Photography will question photography’s materiality and forms of use and, equally, its socio-political potential in eight photographic fields.

  • How Your Camera Works
    What does the material promise, what does it miss?

    Tree in Nature, (from Darkroom Manuals, 2013), 2013, Chromogenic Prints, 76,2 x 69,6 cm © Sara Cwynar / Courtesy Sara Cwynar / COOPER COLE, Toronto, Canada

    Taking the form of pure artistic research, the exhibition explores the myths and material of photography. It looks at the shift from the print paradigm to new forms of recording. The tour through the exhibits is modelled on a photographic handbook and leads through different stages of the process of photographic production: from exposing and registering the image, to developing and further processing the end result to various output formats of photography. This reverses the view through the viewfinder: artistic works are focusing not on the external world but rather on what is inside the camera, the old and the new logic of photography. Does the new materiality condition the medium’s expressiveness, myths, and values? Do the promises and transgressions of analogue photography translate into computer-based images? Or do unknown errors arise, adding a new vocabulary to the photographic?
    In supplement to the current artworks, 19th- and 20th-century illustrated instruction books and manuals, containing original photographs, will be on show together with further objects dealing with photo technology. (curated by Kathrin Schönegg)

  • Leaving the Still Image
    How high, wide, deep and flexible is an image?

    Pétrel I Roumagnac (duo), d’astérion, Installationsansicht, 2017, Pièce photo-scénique n°2 Direktdruck auf Holz, Plexiglas und diverse Materialien, 12m³ (fragmentierbar) © Pétrel I Roumagnac (duo)

    For many people photography is a window on the world: a frozen view of reality, confined to the rectangular area of a paper print or monitor. Yet artists have always been somewhat vexed by this reduction to a two-dimensional surface. The exhibition Leaving the Still Image shows various forms of photographic experimentation. It brings together works that question the visual and physical rules of the medium—works that stretch the instant of recording, repeat it, or counterpose the particular motif with a different perspective. The artists outwit the photographic material with its own means or with optical illusions. They use projections and installations to open up the flat image into three dimensions. This gives rise to new ways of observing and narrating with images, forms that are neither linear nor closed but are instead testament to the processes of reflecting on our visual culture. (curated by Christin Müller)

  • No Image is an Island
    How does sharing shape our interaction with images?

    Natalie Bookchin, My Meds, 2009/2016, aus: Testament, Mehrkanal-Videoinstallation, Farbe, Ton © Natalie Bookchin

    With the shift away from an analogue towards a digital visual culture, the availability of photographic images has boomed. They are shared on social platforms in seconds. The image has had its time as a closed, singular unit. Sharing is the photographic usage of the hour. The exhibition questions images’ dissemination paths today. What gets brought into circulation, and out of what motivation? At the same time, a look will be taken at strategies that respond to images’ anarchic dynamism and attempt to enclose them and make them manipulable. As does sharing, regulating and collecting also takes on a ritual character. (curated by Fabian Knierim)

  • Who Are You? That's You!
    What portraits (do not) reveal of the portrayed?

    Andrzej Steinbach, Ohne Titel, 2015, aus: Figur I, Figur II, Inkjet-Print, 90 × 60 cm © Andrzej Steinbach / Courtesy Andrzej Steinbach and Galerie Conradi

    The portrait is a classic field of application of photography, where self-image and public image are negotiated between photographer and picture protagonist. How much can be said about a person’s identity and character via the illustration? What image do the subjects wish to create of themselves? In what light does the photographer show them? The exhibition includes historic portrait photos taken from the realm of clinical psychiatry, alongside artistic images. There are photographs on show that were taken against the will of their subjects, images that play with the format or conjure up stereotypes, and images that critically examine and analyse the portrait. Portraits present a self-image generated by the person being photographed. But they also make us aware of our own predilections, conventions, and prejudices. The question and statement Who Are You? That’s You! is also directed at us as viewers, when we take up a position vis-à-vis to the portraits. (curated by Christin Müller)

  • Resisting Images
    How to resist, with and against, images?

    Merle Kröger und Philip Scheffner, Havarie, 2016, Projektion, 93 min, Farbe, Ton © pong film GmbH

    Resisting Images explores the contentious presence of the photographic image within the political sphere. As the title of this section suggests, images can serve both as a means of resistance and a mode of control to resist against. Photographs can elicit sympathy and indignation and stir into action and revolt, but they can also affirm prejudice and render viewers immutable, distant and passive. The artworks and artefacts in the exhibition address this tension, questioning prevalent forms of political representation and articulating modes of opposition, with and against images. (curated by Boaz Levin)

  • Global Players
    How can we reflect the entanglement of photography, economy and migration?

    Serafettin Keskin, Karneval in Ulm, 1963 © Familie Keskin

    The planned exhibition at the Kunstverein Ludwigshafen thematizes the connection between photography, globality and economy and collates photographs from private and public archives and artistic positions, with regard to which “work” is constitutive at various levels. (curated by Kerstin Meincke)

  • Other Testimonies
    What does the setting reveal about the stance?

    Arwed Messmer Stammheim #12, Zelle 720 (Ensslin), 1977/2016 [AM_RAF_STH_STA_LB_EL_51/3_679_FILM_EN_01_NEG_10] aus: RAF – NO EVIDENCE / KEIN BEWEIS © Arwed Messmer

    When societal upheavals, political events and traumatic moments are reduced to a few public images, it is rewarding to take a closer look at these and to consult others. For example, this exhibition poses the question of the connection between photographic and content-related perspective, of the direction of the camera and of the attitude behind the camera. What does the juxtaposition of images give away about an event, what other realities become visible, what functions of the shots and what contexts determine our reading of these images? What is the “stance behind the settings”? (curated by Florian Ebner)

    In cooperation with Museum Folkwang, Essen
    The project „Lampedusa – Bildgeschichten vom Rande Europas“ is promoted by Kulturstiftung des Bundes

  • Ghost Stories
    Breaking Images in the Mannheim Water Tower

    Arno Gisinger, Gespenstergeschichten, Installationsansicht © Arno Gisinger

    The photographic stock of Kunsthalle Mannheim is the source for a new work by Arno Gisinger. The glass plate archive comprising more than 7000 images – primarily art reproductions, exhibition documents and architecture photography from the museum’s founding in 1907 into the early 1960s – is the institution’s visual memory and was previously closed to visitors. It illustrates the museum’s exhibition policy, which has been characterized by political upheavals, as much as its extraordinary history, which Arno Gisinger will transfer into the public space and thus into a contemporary perceptual context.