In the numerous anthologies of artists’ manifestos, photographic manifestos are often relegated to the shadows, but wrongly so. We show to what extent throughout the long history of the medium the makers of photographic images have repeatedly voiced their opinions about the use and perception, as well as the vision and pitfalls of photography. They have sparked important, not least political debates. Extending from pioneers, such as Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot in the 19th century, to Paul Strand, Man Ray, Sherrie Levine, contemporary artists like the Atlas Group, and photography bloggers, the predominantly typographic design of the exhibition and accompanying catalogue bring together seminal texts, essays, and other topical contributions, which are accompanied by photographic “footnotes” by the respective authors. This provides a new perspective on the medium and formulates an alternative history of photography.
A co-operative production of Museum Folkwang Essen and the Fotomuseum Winterthur.
Blow-Up, Michelangelo Antonioni’s first English and commercially most successful film, not only occupies a unique position in the history of film, but also in the history of photography. Hardly any other feature film has portrayed the many different aspects of photography with such sophistication or has attempted to understand the medium in such an elaborate and timeless manner. The photographic spectrum conveyed in Blow-Up is correspondingly broad, ranging from fashion photography to social reportage, Pop Art, and abstract photography. In multiple chapters the exhibition Blow-Up presents these many-sided themes and their relationship to one another. In addition to stills from the film, the exhibition also presents works actually shown in Blow-Up as well as images that highlight the cultural and artistic context of the film’s production—specifically London in the swinging sixties.
The exhibited photographers include artists such as David Bailey, Terence Donovan, Richard Hamilton, John Hilliard, Don McCullin, Ian Stephenson, John Stezaker, and many more. In co-operation with the Albertina, Vienna, and C/O Berlin.
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