Dadaist and poet Tristan Tzara called the invention of the collage the most revolutionary moment in the development of painting and meant by that the fundamental break with established forms of artistic representation that it symbolised. Implicit to the technical processes of what comprises collage — gluing (Fr. coller), scratching, cutting, tearing, folding, mounting, assembling and de-composing etc. is the potential for radicality. While the papiers collés of the Cubists drew their sustenance from used, discarded and apparently banal sources, we are surrounded today with multiply reproduced, re-formatted and re-edited copies of constantly accumulating digital debris. The current focus of the Fotogalerie Wien will present four exhibitions and includes a wide spectrum of methods and processes used in collage in contemporary photo and video art. This renders the narrative and autopoietic strengths of this art form visible along with its innovatory energy as one of its fundamental and most evident characteristics, especially in relation to new technologies or spatial and sculptural expansions. The drift of the images is also always guided by energies that are anarchistic, driven by chance and play.
(textual support: Katharina Manojlović)
5. September 2017 — 14. October 2017The first exhibition is dedicated to collage as an artistic method. Its consistent use is characteristic of the work of the participating artists. What do the collisions and layers of fragmentary images mean for our perception? How do interventions to the underlying materiality of the picture effect its contents? In the works that are being shown media-specific qualities of photography are taken to the extreme, principles of order and ways of handling pictures, user interfaces and archives are disclosed. [...]
5. December 2017 — 20. January 2018The rooms arranged by Alexandra Baumgartner and Anita Witek seem intimate and alien at the same time. They elicit memories but keep no promises. Photographs come together by causing each other to disappear: imaginings achieve presence through absence. Welcome Home, the title of the show, may be read as a challenge to visitors, as an outsized pointer at the entrance to a building whose inner workings appear to be subject of Kafkaesque rules. [...]
13. March 2018 — 14. April 2018The focus of the third show of the 2017/18 special topic consists of works which take up a specific subject area or motif and place it at the centre of a process of reflection. This makes clear how collage has the ability to render the familiar unfamiliar and so to compress reality that what is beyond depiction and representation and outside habitual ways of seeing is rendered visible. Domains are created that follow their own rules; visual constellations remain abstract while simultaneously unfolding their documentary character through their explicit references to reality, picking up the pre-existing, bearing witness. [...]
12. June 2018 — 14. July 2018The last exhibition of the COLLAGE special focus is a confrontation with two artistic positions which, despite all the differences in the mediums employed, are linked by an interest in a multi-media exploration of space from a social and cultural point of view as well as issues relating to perceptual theory. How much does the (non)simultaneous order of processes and (historical) events have an effect on their representability? [...]