Happy about our collaboration with Copenhagen Fotofestival happening one week before us
The final count down has started. We are happy to welcome Moderna Malmö to the Biennal and to include the exhibition:”MALMÖ’S burning, an exhibition about revolt, dreams and passions, 1968-1988″ in the program.
Text by curators, Clemens Altgård and Ola Åstrand from Moderna museet website: (…) The aim of the exhibition Malmö’s Burning is to feature—in a deeply personal way—images of a city that has just disappeared before our eyes. With a number of important selected works forming the hub of a revolving remix of an era, we want to rekindle memories and feelings from a time that can seem paradoxically both far behind us and startlingly close.
The exhibition Malmö’s Burning spans from the experimental and increasingly political 1960s to the 1980s, when new alternative cultures began to emerge just as the good years in terms of economic prosperity seemed to be over. Viewing that era from the perspective of today provides a new and alternative image of Malmö’s transformation through a remix of various cultural expressions, a blend of both visual art and other styles of the subcultures that have made lasting impressions on the city.
Ninni Benediktson & Anne Nummila Rosengren, Art Bomba/Åke Dahlbom, Christian Cavallin, Stina Ebers, Leif Eriksson, Allan Friis, Pernilla Frykholm, Abelardo Gonzalez, Elisa Halvegård, Lars Hejll, Paulina Hårleman, Per Linde & Technicolor Poets, Lena Mattsson, Jessica Nilsson, Isabel Rayo, Maria Tomczak, Pepe Viñoles, Annika Wide, Jacques Zadig, Ola Åstrand.
Region Skåne and culture Skåne has granted us a contribution to our seminar with motivation: “Malmö Fotobiennal 2017” takes place in June and hosts a large number of photo-based exhibitions around Skåne as well as artist talks and film shows in a well-established collaboration with art institutions, galleries And academy. The overall theme “The Society of the Spectacle”is based on the artist and theorist Guy Debord’s book from 1967, one of our most up-to-date issues exploring photography roll in a media landscape and society in rapid and radical changes. It is about the relationship of the image to reality, credibility and digital manipulation, alternative facts and the future development of photography. The seminar taking place in Malmö during the photo biennial promoting communication and development of knowledge as well as the ability for critical thinking.
Hi all! Spring and longer sun hours are positive news for Malmö, Skåne…and for us as well. We are working on with meeting and planning to meet the effort of all participant of Malmö fotobiennal 2017 under the theme” The society of the Spectacle”.
We have now been through more than 150 open call applications and decided to take in a broad spectrum of work from 17 artist/photographers. The selected projects can be seen as representation of the different aspects of a medial spectacle and of our societies at a paradigm. More information on the selected work coming soon.
We are trilled to announce the participation of Dunkerskulturshus in the program. The culture house will be hosting a large number of new photography and film projects of known and unknown photographers, surrealism and illusion of reality. ITALIA – Anders Petersen, Lorenzo Castore, Martin Bogren is a poetic story black and white photography exhibition of three internationally renowned photographers. ITALIA is giving the audience everyday images of Italy from three photographic temperament and perspectives. Bending Reality by Erik Johansson are breathtaking optical photography fascinating, amusing and challenging illusions of reality. Photographer Nelly Gunnarsson – Helsingborg photographer worked from 1903 to 1928. The exhibition shows a selection of Nelly Gunnarssons century-old original photographs. Keep the storm at bay by Tomas Gilljam is a video-based projects dealing with the relationship between man, nature and history.
We also welcome Galleri CC and the work of Irish artist Alan Butler. The project ”Down and Out in Los Santos” Alan is pushing the boundaries of photography in an interesting manner and that his work is extremely relevant to the theme of the Malmö Fotobiennal in 2017. About the project: Down and Out in Los Santos is series of photographs that are created by exploiting a smartphone camera feature within the video game Grand Theft Auto V. Players of GTAV can put away the guns and knives, and instead take photos within the game environment. This operates in basically the same way as ‘real’ cameras do. I walk around a three-dimensional space, find a subject, point the camera, compose the shot, focus, and click the shutter. I have taken a photograph.(…)
Further on we are looking forward to work in close contact with In-discourse, Silas Bieri at the Lokstallarna. The space is an 800 square meters old train factory in Kiseberg, Malmö. We have already decided to show the large format photography of Jenny Eliasson and of Graham Adey among others.
Spread the word to your friends and colleges about Malmö Fotobiennal 2017! Most foto exhibitions, the seminar, the book days, the artist talks are free of charge. It is all happenings thanks to the dedicated work of the board, Marcio Souza, Jeanette Schou and Susanna Hesselberg and thanks to Malmö stad financial contribution.
Michel Thomas. Head of the board
Hi all! Malmö is doing great. Believe me…and to you wondering about the Biennal, we are working on with meeting and planning to meet the effort of all participant under the theme” The society of the Spectacle”:.
The galleries and institutions in our region will get the invite within a couples of weeks but we are already happy to include a large exhibition at Malmö Konsthall entitled “Subjektiv”. Curated by the editorial board of the Scandinavian art journal Objektiv – Lucas Blalock, Ida Kierulf, Brian Sholis, Susanne Ø. Sæther and editor Nina Strand – Subjektiv presents artworks from the last five years that speak to this situation through their strategic staging of subjectivity and its political potential or impotence. All the works are camera-based – photographs and films, collages and slide shows – and span from straight documentary to a post-internet aesthetics of the interface. While radically different in strategies and aesthetics, these works all investigate the friction between the personal, the collective, and the political.
Malmö museer is welcome as well with an outdoor exhibition “Aino” by the Finnish born and Berlin based artist Nina Backman. (…) Whereas the vulgarly politicized version is locked into the evident nostalgia and hallucinating longing back for the imagined golden years of early 20th century, Backman refuses to accept the passive role of the suspected outsider and the other. This time, the outsider and the other are already inside in. And this time around, she is not just cute, and not shy. She is clever, and she does not stand still. She re-activates the connections between the past, the present and the future. She keeps on moving. Not the mountain, but the ways we see what it means to be right here, right now.(…)
We are welcoming Kulturen in Lund with the exhibition called African “The Studio of Vanities, staged portraits of Africa´s contemporary urban scene” by the photographer Omar Victor Diop from Senegal.
Further on we are looking forward to fill-in some new alternativ space in Malmö.
Michel Thomas. Head of the board. Malmö Fotobiennal 2017
“Where the real world changes into simple images, the simple images become real beings and effective motivations of hypnotic behavior.” Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle (1967)
+ Link to the embedded film
The 2017 edition of Malmö Fotobiennal celebrates 50 years since the release of the essay “The Society of the Spectacle” by French philosopher Guy Debord. Debord devoted his essay to understand the structure in which we are living in, where the social relations are interpolated by a society of representations, the being is replaced into having and appearing. To be is to consume, and the images serve as a mediator of the spectacle. We take his work and his concepts as a starting point for Malmö Fotobiennal 2017, an attempt to understand how these ideas would apply to the use of photography today.
In addition to acknowledging the 50-year anniversary, we aim to problematize the power, the authenticity and the message carried by the photographic image. Another goal is to update the features and role of photography in society today. How are visual artists representing a society in transformation?
To some extend, photography use the language or draw on conventions of advertising, revealing the often darker underside of the promises of perfection embedded in much of our popular culture, from televisions show to music, and magazines to supermarkets. In the 1980s, a number of artist drew on the socialpolitical disillusionment around them, sing their media-tinged artwork as a filter through which ”real life” was delivered.
Photography, film and the media do conveyed a scenic view of reality but today, virtual messages, display, simulation and false news images turned to be the normal and almost becoming truthful. As we upload our embellished pictures, we contribute ourselves to cement the prevailing social norms. We are creating and sharing our own spectacle.
We encourage artists, filmmakers and photographers to freely interpret the theme during our “open call”. We also welcome all the galleries, institutions and museums in Malmö, Skåne and Oresund to sign up and contribute with their own perspectives and exhibitions to be included in this year’s program and catalogue.
Head of the board/Malmö Fotobiennal 2017
9 – 18 June 2017
The Society of the Spectacle
We want to thank Robert Zaretsky for this essay, first published in “The New York Times” on the 20th of februari 2017. We see this contribution as a part of the ongoing debate dealing with “The politics and the spectacle”.
Nearly 50 years ago, Guy Debord’s “The Society of the Spectacle” reached bookshelves in France. It was a thin book in a plain white cover, with an obscure publisher and an author who shunned interviews, but its impact was immediate and far-reaching, delivering a social critique that helped shape France’s student protests and disruptions of 1968. “The Society of the Spectacle” is still relevant today. With its descriptions of human social life subsumed by technology and images, it is often cited as a prophecy of the dangers of the internet age now upon us. And perhaps more than any other 20th-century philosophical work, it captures the profoundly odd moment we are now living through, under the presi-dential reign of Donald Trump.
As with the first lines from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “The Social Contract” (“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”) and Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto” (“The his-tory of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”), Debord, an intellectu-al descendant of both of these thinkers, opens with political praxis couched in high dra-ma: “The whole life of those societies in which modern conditions of production prevail presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. All that once was directly lived has become mere representation.”
In the 220 theses that follow, Debord, a founding member of the avant-garde Situationist group, develops his indictment of “spectacular society.” With this phrase, Debord did not simply mean to damn the mass media. The spectacle was much more than what occupied the screen. Instead, Debord argued, everything that men and women once experienced directly — our ties to the natural and social worlds — was being mulched, masticated and made over into images. And the pixels had become the stuff of our very lives, in which we had relegated ourselves to the role of walk-ons.
The “image,” for Debord, carried the same economic and existential weight as the notion of “commodity” did for Marx. Like body snatchers, commodities and images have hijack-ed what we once naïvely called reality. The authentic nature of the products we make with our hands and the relationships we make with our words have been removed, replaced by their simulacra. Images have become so ubiquitous, Debord warned, that we no longer remember what it is we have lost. As one of his biographers, Andy Merrifield, elaborated, “Spectacular images make us want to forget — indeed, insist we should forget.” But in Debord’s view, forgetting doesn’t absolve us of responsibility. We are not just inno-cent dupes or victims in this cataclysmic shift from being to appearing, he insisted. Rather, we reinforce this state of affairs when we lend our attention to the spectacle.
The sun never sets, Debord dryly noted, “on the empire of modern passivity.” And in this passive state, we surrender ourselves to the spectacle. For Marx, alienation from labor was a defining trait of modernity. We are no longer, he announced, what we make. But even as we were aliena-ted from our working lives, Marx assumed that we could still be ourselves outside of work. For Debord, though, the relentless pounding of images had pulverized even that haven. The consequences are both disastrous and innocuous. “There is no place left where people can discuss the realities which concern them,” Debord concluded, “because they can never lastingly free themselves from the crushing presence of media discourse.” Public spaces, like the agora of Ancient Greece, no longer exist. But having grown as accustomed to the crushing presence of images as we have to the presence of earth’s gravity, we live our lives as if nothing has changed.
Robert Zaretsky specializes in French history when not teaching in The Human Situation. His books include Nîmes at War (Penn State University 1995), Cock and Bull Stories: Folco de Baroncelli and the Invention of the Camargue (Nebraska 2004), and with John Scott, The Philosophers’ Quarrel: Rousseau, Hume, and the Limits of Human Understanding (Yale 2009). His most recent books are Albert Camus: Elements to a Life (Cornell 2010) and, with Alice Conklin and Sarah Fishman, France and its Empire Since 1870 (Oxford 2010). His book “A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning” was published in 2013 by Harvard UP. His new book, “Boswell’s Enlightenment,” will be published by Harvard in spring 2015, and he is also writing a book on the friendship between Catherine the Great of Russia and the French philosophe Denis Diderot. Zaretsky is also the history editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books, regular columnist for the Jewish Daily Forward and frequent contributor to the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy and Chronicle of Higher Education. (Ph.D., University of Virginia).
The countdown has started. 4 month to go. A few more meeting this week. The open call is on untill the end of this month. We are happy for all the upcoming collaboration during the Biennal:
In-discourse / Lokstalarna
We are also delighted to welcome many institutions in the region:
Kulturen i Lund.
Looking forwards to the springtime in Sweden