Inaugurated in 2013
Fabulist Manifesto (At Play), Galerie Max Mayer, Düsseldorf
The Camera of Disaster, Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany
Fabulist Manifesto: Audio/Visual Agitprop (for Children), Swallow Project Space, Vilnius, Lithuania
The Storytellers’ Fountain; a tale told by A Gust of Wind through the low and dark rooms, Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples
EVERYTHING IS BIG, SOMETIMES MONSTROUS AND REALLY INTENSE, Galeria Wschód, Warsaw
A Sculpture in Search of an Author, LAYR, Vienna
NOT MADE NOT CHOSEN NOT PRESENTED, ML Fine Art, Milan
The Camera of Disaster
Studio for Propositional Cinema's exhibition The Camera of Disaster responds to photography’s present status as a medium on the brink of extinction, proposing techniques to preserve it while reimagining its future. The exhibition is framed by The Lensgrinders, a new dystopian narrative work comprising text and photographs, that tells the story of a group of dissidents who attempt to reinvent photography to free it from authoritarian control. Nested within the narrative is “Manual: The Camera of Disaster,” a survival kit—loosely structured on William Henry Fox Talbot’s 1844 book The Pencil of Nature—containing knowledge and tools necessary to detangle the photographic process from the annihilative logic of industrialism and the algorithmitisation of desire.
The Camera of Disaster aims to reclaim the means of production in order to imagine a form of image-making that could be preserved within futures where photography is made illegal or the technology is lost within disaster scenarios such as breakdowns of electricity grids or loss of industrial production capabilities. Beyond a call to preserve photography itself, the work highlights photography within a network of other communicational and expressive forms that are being systematically ceded to corporations and governments that can then, at will, control their use. By insisting on the continued possibilities of what photography could still become, we can attempt to resuscitate it and give it, and the world it depicts, another future.
Comprised of large-scale photographic and textual elements, this installation builds on Studio for Propositional Cinema’s practice of exhibition-making in which the exhibition format itself is utilised as a temporal narrative form. The Camera of Disaster offers a quasi-cinematic experience that the spectators unravel as they traverse the exhibition, its dialogue, and its images: a dismantled disaster film with a cautiously hopeful ending.
The exhibition is accompanied by a new box catalogue with contributions by David Campany, Joanna Demers, Paulina Pobocha, and Jeff Wall. It will be launched at Museum Abteiberg’s 40th-anniversary celebration on 23 June 2022.
The Camera of Disaster is funded by the Hans Fries Stiftung, Stiftung Kunstfonds and the Embassy of Canada, generously supported by RECOM ART and HALBE Rahmen.