Elisabeth Tonnard

Posts Tagged ‘essay



Recently the book Foto-Objekte (Photo Objects) was published, for which I wrote a short essay-with-photos titled ‘More Than A Few Glimpses Of Its Charms’ documenting this work.

The book, which is mostly in German, brings together contributions about work on and with “photo objects” from four photo archives in Berlin and Florence. This compilation is supplemented by the perspectives of various artists (Johannes Braun & Toby Cornish, Ola Kolehmainen, Joachim Schmid, Elisabeth Tonnard, Akram Zaatari).

Some info from the press release:

In ordinary conversation and frequently in scientific jargon, photographs are referred to as images. Usually, they are only perceived as surfaces. But aren’t they a great deal more?

Photographs are constantly being handed around, written on, cut up, framed, pasted on boxes on into albums, printed out and mailed in envelopes, swiped on smartphones, or uploaded onto the Internet. They are exchanged, thrown away, sometimes torn up or deleted. Photographs are not just images, but material objects as well. They are not only looked at, they are also handled.

Archeologists, anthropologists, ethnologists, and art historians began working with photographs in the nineteenth century, collecting them in archives. Mechanically produced images promised objectivity. Based on this supposedly neutral evidence, scientists developed their own methods and practices that remain fundamental to this day, with some now digitalized. Precisely because of their lasting importance, these practices must always be questioned in both their historical and contemporary dimensions. It was archival procedures, such as ordering, notating, and classifying, which first made photographs useful documents for research. Therefore, photographs are neither objective, nor timeless: rather, they have stories of their own. In order to be able to tell these stories, we have to consider photographs as objects, not just as images. These are the methodical, theoretical propositions behind the Foto-Objekte (Photo Objects) project and the essays in this eponymous volume. They deal with the visual contents of the photographs, as well as the boxes they come in, their stamps, inscriptions, spots, blemishes, and other traces of their functionality and how they were used over time.

Kerber Verlag
ISBN 978-3-7356-0477-4
22,00 × 28,00 cm
240 Pages
Hardcover, bound
Languages: German, English (partly)

Julia Bärnighausen, Costanza Caraffa, Stefanie Klamm, Franka Schneider, Petra Wodtke

Texts by
Julia Bärnighausen, Johannes Braun, Costanza Caraffa, Toby Cornish, Ute Dercks, Almut Goldhahn, Stefanie Klamm, Ola Kolehmainen, Nora Riediger, Joachim Schmid, Franka Schneider, Elisabeth Tonnard, Petra Wodtke, Akram Zaatari

Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

July 22, 2020 at 3:44 pm

Posted in News

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In the new issue of Afterimage (Vol. 41, No. 1) is a short essay I wrote titled ‘Two Swimming Pools’ about the work process behind my two Ed Ruscha remakes, Recounted and One Swimming Pool. Information about this issue of Afterimage here.


Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

July 8, 2013 at 3:58 pm


On this new page on my site I will start adding pdf’s of poetry, translations, (visual) essays and such that I published in years past, mostly from literary magazines, and mostly in Dutch.

Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

May 18, 2013 at 6:49 pm