Rainer Ganahl

Max Protetch

Since 1995, in his “S/L (seminars/lectures)” series, Rainer Ganahl has been producing what are essentially portrait photographs of intellectuals. Far from the contemplative tradition associated with a photographer like Gisèle Freund or the free-floating head shots found on contributors pages in magazines from Vogue to Artforum, Ganahl’s snapshot aesthetic positions intellectual activity as a form of labor. The figures are depicted in the context of their semipublic work: leading a seminar, giving a lecture, attending a conference. For each subject, Ganahl then usually selects two photographs: one of the intellectual and another of her or his audience.

As seen in his recent show, the accumulated archive of photographs is not without visual incident, even humorous juxtapositions: Witness the fabulous image of Linda Nochlin bravely holding forth beneath an immense projection of the already

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