Joachim Schmid

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Artists willing to face the Herculean challenge of channeling the relentless deluge of photographic imagery face a profoundly modern futility: There’s no possible way to manage the sheer overload. Nevertheless, in the catalogue for his current twenty-five-year survey, Joachim Schmid announces that he has reached the point of being able to sift through ten thousand photos a day. The German artist’s practice since the early ’80s has been to act as a found-image filter—first as critic, then as artist.

The exhibition, “Selected Photoworks 1982–2007,” which was organized by the Frances Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College and Photographers’ Gallery, London, includes selections from nine series, which together illustrate the enormous task of successfully making art from the photographic tsunami. Schmid wrestles with the discarded and the overlooked, organizing pictures into ordered arrangements

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