Exhibition – An Image is an Image is an Image


11:00am - 1:00pm

Arendt & Medernach is pleased to announce the preparation of a new collective exhibition entitled ‘An Image is an Image is an Image‘, with the artists:

Holger Trützsch, Marco Godinho, Elisabeth and Carine Krecké, Bruno Baltzer and Leonora Bisagno, David Brognon and Stéphanie Rollin, LittleWarsaw and Anna Krieps.

It will be on view at Arendt House from 22 February 2018 ; Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The exhibition

An Image is an Image is an Image

The title of the exhibition is a paraphrase of Gertrude Stein’s famous line “A rose is a rose is a rose”. Here the repetition of the word “Image” refers to the different forms of appropriation that the selected artists were able to explore in their photographic work. This appropriation emerged with the “International Situationists” in the 60s and developed with the conceptual movements through the search for new forms which found a revival in current photography. In this way we wanted to bring together artists from different generations, nationalities, backgrounds and photographic expressions.

For the German artist Holger Trützsch (a member of the “International Situationists” in the sixties), appropriation is an artistic approach that he has been able to explore in different series throughout his long career. The series “Fliessende Landschaften” (“Flowing Landscapes”) is the result of a contemporary photographic appropriation of the pictorial act and landscape as a classical genre. By pouring paint on transparent tarpaulins, he reveals imaginary landscapes of this liquid matter which he photographs before the colours mingle and dry up. In the series of “oxydographies”, from the re-appropriations of his “Body Art” work with Veruschka, he transposes the principle of Rauschenberg’s Erasements of De Kooning’s drawings into his own photographs.

In another context the series “Autre chose” by Marco Godinho (Portuguese-Luxembourger) is a deconstruction and re‑appropriation of a sequence from the film “Besides Derrida” directed by Safaa Fathy and which shows the philosopher walking in a landscape that becomes quasi-lunar through the transformation and repetition of the stills. In his other work “Sequence of a Forgotten Moment”, he poses the question of the limits of a place and gives the viewer all the power of interpretation of the landscape through the lenticular rendering.

In their series “States of emergency”, the Luxembourgish artists Elisabeth and Carine Krecké carry out a meticulous work of re-appropriation of their own images through various pictorial and photographic techniques that disturb our passive vision of everyday life. Starting from photographs taken in the Metro of Paris, they develop a pictorial deconstructive process that turns the image back into a photograph.

The work on “Mao” by Bruno Baltzer and Leonora Bisagno (a Franco-Italian couple living in Luxembourg), produced during their artistic residency in China, reflects quite well the different layers of appropriation of a representative image such as the iconic portrait of Mao Zedong at Tienanmen Square in Beijing viewed through the different smartphone screens of the tourists photographing the Mao fresco.

The appropriation of the monument in the series “Serious People” have no Stories takes on an objectivist dimension for David Brognon and Stéphanie Rollin (both living in Luxembourg) who photograph the hands of monuments of philosophers, writers and other famous men by decontextualising them and constituting a personal archive, a collection of details that they make visible and that testify to an existing reality which is generally not perceptible.

The relationship to the museum as an institution, as well as to ancient art and its correlation to contemporary art, is central to the work of the Hungarian duo Little Warsaw. The photograph “The Body of Nefertiti” is part of a conceptual work presented at the 2003 Venice Biennale which is intended to give a body back to Nefertiti’s head. This re-appropriation of a museum object raises the question of representations while defying the limits between the history of art and art criticism.

In a more playful register, the Luxembourgish artist Anna Krieps highlights the relation between fiction and reality in the series “Cosmic Dream” through the appropriation of the figure of the cosmonaut and all kind of narratives linked to space questions. In this series she has this childhood dream role interpreted by her sister, a film actress in life, who embodies the character freely in a poetic way.

As these examples of very varied photographic works testify, the interpenetration of artistic discourse and the explosion of art categories today have allowed photography to free itself from its classical status and to open the medium to all kinds of re‑appropriations of images. As for the word “rose” in the famous quotation by Gertrude Stein, the word “image” contains here all its possible associations, meanings and interpretation.

(text by Paul di Felice)