I saw ‘The Roma Journeys’ exhibition in Winterthur’s FotoMuseum last Saturday. What an amazing piece of work. I totally recommend you, if you really like Photography and know what Photography is for, to check the full extent of his work. It is a pleasure and a refreshing experience to see photographers engaging in other matters than self-endulgement. In his own words:“Between 2000 and 2006 I together with writer Cia Rinne undertook travels in seven different countries with a view to gaining an insight into the life of the Roma and the conditions they face. We always tried to spend a considerable length of time among the people whom we wanted to learn about and, if possible, to live with them for a while. It was our own interest that initially took us to the Roma streets in Hevesaranyos in northeast Hungary, where we spent four months at the home of Magda, an elderly Roma. The other journeys to Romania, India and our travels in Finland came about through personal contact, while in Greece and Russia we were initially assisted by human rights organizations and in France by the Centre de recherches tsiganes in Paris. These Roma journeys were by no means meticulously planned, and instead the product of a number of coincidences that enabled us to come into contact with the Roma. We endeavored to communicate directly with them. In most countries this was possible, and while in Russia and India we were accompanied on our travels, and thus had willing assistance. We have frequently been asked what had triggered our interest in the Roma, but we were unable to provide a definitive, let alone exhaustive answer. What is certain is that once we hard started we were unable to simply stop continuing with the project. The more we found out about the Roma and got to know them, the more our interest in and liking for them grew. In keeping with the different countries traveled, the photographic body of work is divided into seven series, the sequence of which roughly corresponds to the chronology of our journeys.”
For sexuality and fantasy, photography is a central visual instrument: as document, stimulation, instrument of power, and as a form for artistic creation. Photography shows and stylizes pleasure and passion, voyeurism and self-representation, sexual power and consumption. Fantasies and desires form an exciting pact with photography: sexual fantasies demand representation, actively seek disclosure—and photography uses this power of (pictorial) eroticism for its own ends, to be powerful and seductive. Darkside is dedicated to photographs of ideal, natural, and grotesque bodies; conceives of sexuality as a part of existence; presents photographed sexual practices, desires, and phantasms; discusses sexuality in Surrealism; reflects on reification and fetishization in sexuality; compares voyeurism and exhibitionism with one another; takes up the topics of sexuality and the body within the context of debates around gender, as well as power and the market. Throughout it is always a question of the images we make of “sexuality,” of the endless interflow of fantasies and reality in visual desire over the last one hundred years. With works of 150 photographers, including Brassaï, Bill Brandt, Hans Bellmer, Man Ray, Pierre Molinier, Germaine Krull, František Drtikol, Claude Cahun, von Christer Strömholm, Anders Petersen, Ed van der Elsken, Walter Chappell, Peter Hujar, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, Nan Goldin, Valie Export, Carolee Schneemann, Urs Lüthi, Jürgen Klauke, Hannah Villiger, von Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, Noritoshi Hirakawa, Arno Nollen, Paul Armand Gette, and many others.
At the FOTOMUSEUM WINTERTHUR
6 September – 16 November 2008
Opening: Friday, 5 September, 6 pm
Grüzenstrasse 44+45 , CH-8400 Winterthur (Zurich)
Tues-Sun 11 am to 6 pm, Wed 11 am to 8 pm