Elisabeth Tonnard

Posts Tagged ‘photothek

Invitation exhibition Unboxing Photographs

For those in Berlin, here is the invitation to the opening of the show ‘Unboxing Photographs’ that I will have work in at the Kulturforum/Kunstbibliothek. Hope to see you there.

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Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

February 2, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Exhibition Unboxing Photographs

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I’m developing a new installation titled More Than A Few Glimpses Of Its Charms. The work will be exhibited at the Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, from February 16 to May 27 as part of the show ‘Unboxing Photographs: Work in the Photo Archive’.

More about this show below or follow this link. For those of you in Berlin: the opening will take place at the Kunstbibliothek on February 15.

More Than A Few Glimpses Of Its Charms consists of 18 different series of found used postcards in which each series is based on the same photograph. There are 18 different photographs but together nearly 100 different postcards in the installation. The cards in each series show slight visual differences; the color is changed by age or by variations/manipulations in the print runs, sometimes there are signs visible of how the card went through the mail system or was tacked to a wall. The photos are the same, the actual objects and the meaning they had for the senders and receivers are not. The installation is completed by texts in four languages drawn from the backs of the postcards.

About the exhibition ‘Unboxing Photographs’

The exhibition opens the boxes of four photo archives to showcase the material diversity of photographs as three-dimensional objects: from glass plate negatives, to 35 mm film, to prints on albumin or silver gelatin paper. These photo-objects are taken in the hand, tilted and turned over, labeled, cut down, framed, glued into albums, printed, and dispatched or posted online. Contact and inventory sheets, cardboard mounts, card catalogs, and today even display screens are integral parts of the photo-object, or even constitute it.

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Window with cutout image
© Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut

Since the 19th century, archaeologists, ethnologists, and art historians have worked with photographs and assembled them in archives. There, they are processed and ordered – and only through such treatment do they become usable as documents for scholarly research. These procedures alter the physical properties of photographs and leave behind material traces. Photographs, hence, are neither objective nor timeless. By taking them seriously as objects, and not just as pictures, it becomes possible to tell their multifarious stories.

The exhibition interrogates the commonly practiced and disciplinary conventions that govern the perception and presentation of photographs – for example museum display using passepartouts – and tries out new design possibilities. Work with photo-objects is also central to the artistic interventions of JUTOJO, Ola Kolehmainen, Joachim Schmid, Elisabeth Tonnard, and Akram Zaatari, all of which have been integrated into the exhibition.

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Vase with Corsini-Medici coat of arms
© Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut

 

Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

January 11, 2018 at 5:27 pm

In the photo archive

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In March 2016 I had the opportunity to do a two week research residency together with Joachim Schmid at the Photothek in Florence. The Photothek is part of the Kunsthistorisches Institut, established in 1897. It is a library filled with photographs of artworks and architecture. A short text that we wrote about our stay is available here on the blog Foto-Objekte that aims to explore the scholarly potential of photo archives.

Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

May 11, 2016 at 10:28 am

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