The society of the spectacle.SV

© Ole Christiansen

“Where the real world changes into simple images, the simple images become real beings and effective motivations of hypnotic behavior.” The society of the Spectacle. Guy Debord. 1967

© Ole Christiansen

Temat för Malmö Fotobiennal 2017 har som utgångspunkt en essä av den franske Situationisten Guy Debord, La société du Spectacle 1967 (i svensk översättning: Skådespelssamhället). Verket La société du Spectacle, som gavs ut för 50 år sedan, framför en svidande kritik av sin tids ”skådespel”, där Debord och situationisterna formulerar tankar om bildens och konstens betydelse och kraft att manipulera och begränsa människors mentala rörlighet och frihet. Detta går i högsta grad att återfinna i dagens diskussioner kring fotografiets, bildens och konstens roll. Situationisternas tankar speglar sig särskilt i samtida konst med fokus på social interaktion och politiska rörelser som “Reclaim the city” och ”Adbusters”, där idéer och praktik kring ”dérive” och ”détournement” riktar ett kritiskt öga på modern stadsplanering, och där återtagande av staden är en grundläggande tematik. Den världssyn som situationisterna kritiserade har accentuerats i dagens sociala medier, med reklamens bildflöde och det ökande inflytandet i bildområdet av institutionell faktaresistens, något som går stick i stäv/tvärtemot med Situationistiska rörelsens idéer om samhällsomvälvning.

Vi som arbetar med Malmö Fotobiennal 2017, tror därför att Debords verk kommer utgöra en bra och spännande grund, för att spegla och utveckla samtida tankar och problematisering kring fotografiets funktioner och roller i samhället.

Ulf Lundin/Selected artist

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.

Robert Rutoed

© Robert Rutoed/Selected artist

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.


Michel Thomas

Head of the board/
Fotografi i Fokus/Malmö Fotobiennal 2017

Ulf Lundin/Selected artist

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.

Robert Rutoed

© Robert Rutoed/Selected artist

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.


Michel Thomas

Head of the board/
Fotografi i Fokus/Malmö Fotobiennal 2017