Sunday, June 11, 2017. Start. 10:00 Lunch 12.00-13.00. Round table at 15.00. end: 16.00
Malmö Konsthall, S:t Johannesgatan 7, SE-205 80 Malmö, Sweden.
10.00 -10.55 SANDRA MUJINGA
Sandra Mujinga is interested in where narratives are situated in immaterial reality, and how they are projected on bodies, as well as the possibilities for bodies without narratives, or alternative narratives. Mujinga treats overall IRL presence with skepticism, and rejects any clear dichotomy between the digital and the “real” world. She often explores unstable realities, situations and identities, both on micro and macro, scales. Mujinga incorporates easily available apps and digital tools in her practice, and incorporates the fluxes of available video techniques in in her videos, and uses her own electronic music as a tool for the dissolving the temporal structure of video and performance.
Sandra Mujinga, born in 1989, Goma DR Congo, is a Norwegian artist who, while having been mostly active in Malmö and Oslo, is currently based in Berlin. Recent exhibitions include: Lovely Hosts, Mavra in Berlin, Real Friends at Oslo Kunstforening and group shows Missed Connections at Julia Stoschek Collection in Düsseldorf, Norwegian Sculpture Biennale, APPARAT – Technologies of Persuasion, Kunstverein Braunschweig and Subjektiv, Malmö Konsthall.
11.00-11.55 CLEMENS ALTGÅRD
Clemens Altgård was born 1959. He is a poet, an art critic and curator.
He debuted as a poet in 1986. In Malmö, he was in the break between the 80s and 90s one of the members of tliterary group -the now-dissolved Malmö. In 1995, he wrote with Sandell, a book about poetry and aesthetics – about retrogardism.
He have been critics at Kvällsposten and Sydsvenska Dagbladet. C. Altgård is currently curating the exhibition “Malmö´s Burning at Moderna Malmö.
12.00-12.55 Lunch break
13.00-13.55 ANDERS HANSSON
Anders Hansson is an award winning photojournalist based in Malmö in Southern Sweden. Over the past years he has been covering the conflict in Afghanistan, the refugee crisis and flooding in Pakistan, the revolution i Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, the conflict in Ukraine and the war in Gaza etc. Anders Hansson is a member of Kontinent Agency.
14,00-14-55 NATHALIE DAOUST
Nathalie Daoust’s photographs reflect a love for random places and a wild, inexhaustible sense of inquisitiveness. Exploring, experiencing and documenting rarely visited landscapes and carefully hidden hotel rooms, she spent the last decade producing voyeuristic insights into these otherwise veiled existences. Since her very first experiments in photography Nathalie has been fascinated by human behavior and its various realities, by the ever-present human desire of living in a dream world. The aesthetic of her new project, presently exhibited at the Vaslisouza photography gallery, continues this visual exploration at the border between dream and reality, yet this time it embraces escapism of a country and the act of loosing oneself within it. Her objective as an artist is to push the boundaries of photography through experimental methods, working with new mediums and discovering new techniques in the darkroom.
15.00-15.30 ISSA TOUMA
Film “Greetings from Aleppo”
Issa Touma is a self-taught photographer & Film director based in Aleppo. His work can be found in several international collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London & FOMU Museum in Antwerpen.
2016 was a special year for Issa Touma, his movie ”9 Days from my window in Aleppo” won an award by the European Film Award for Best Short Film. The movie won also in the same year the Best Short Film at the London Film Festival and the Tribute Award at the International Short Film Festival in New York. The “9 days…” movie as been shown in more than 60 festivals and around 40 cultural activities around the world.
His new movie ”Greetings from Aleppo” opened the IFFR (International Film Festival of Rotterdam – Jan 2017).
In 1992 he opened the Black and White Gallery, the first exhibition space dedicated to photography in the Middle East. After its closure in 1996, he founded Le Pont, an independent organization and gallery that promotes freedom of expression and stimulates the local art scene through international events: the International Photo Festival (first held in 1997) and the International Women’s Art Festival (launched in 1999).
In 2012, shortly after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, Le Pont initiated Art Camping, for Syrian refugees and citizens of Aleppo. This unique collaborative project, whose participants come from different religious and ethnic backgrounds, attempts to foster resistance to political and religious radicalism through artistic interventions and cultural dialogue. During the years 2015 & 2016, Issa Touma was granted resident status in Europe and besides his film work he opened two photographic exhibitions: stories from ”Lost Cities” and ”Women We Have Not Lost Yet”. This last one tells the stories of those who lived through the crisis in Syria. He keeps giving lectures all around Europe and for more than 50 cities now. At the moment he is an artist in residence at the Swedish city of Gävle with a scholarship from ICORN | international cities of refuge network.
Greetings From Aleppo
A film by: Issa Touma, Floor van der Meulen and Thomas Vroege
Greetings From Alepporeveals how little the news about Syria corresponds with the experiences of everyday life. Photographer Issa Touma keeps away from bold declarations; he films life, the inconsistencies and perseverance as they reveal themselves in front of his camera. War is tragic and absurd. Surviving is often highly surreal and touching in this warn-torn city.[Scroll down for more info about the film]
15.30-16.30 ROUND TABLE TALK
Moderator: PONTUS KYANDER
Pontus Kyander, born 1959 in Tampere, Finland is art historian, art critic and curator, former television editor, university professor and museum director at Trondheim Art Museum in the period 2011-2014. He was in the 2010-2011 Director of the Sørlandets Kunstmuseum in Kristiansand and from 1 October 2011 to 31 March 2014, Director of the Trondheim Art Museum.
Participant: Anders Hansson. Nathalie Daoust, Issa Touma.
The seminar is free for the audience.
Info & Links
Many of our speakers are english speaking but some talks will be hold in Swedish as well.
Event on Facebook
Greetings From Aleppo
A film by: Issa Touma, Floor van der Meulen and Thomas Vroege
Country: the Netherlands, Syria
Screening format: DCP, H264, ProRes
Spoken language: Arabic
Director: Issa Touma, Floor van der Meulen & Thomas Vroege
Story: Floor van der Meulen & Thomas Vroege
Producer: Jos De Putter, Bas Vroege
Cinematographer: Issa Touma
Narration: Issa Touma
Editors: Thomas Vroege & Floor van der Meulen
Sound Design: Tom Jansen
Composer: Darius Timmer
Produced by: Deepfocus Webdocs & Paradox
Production assistance: Veronica Daltri
Translations: Susan Osman, Herman Te Loo
We wish to thanks Malmö Konsthall, Angela Cesarec and specially – Region Skåne kultur supporting Malmö Fotobiennal 2017 and the seminar.
Malmö Konsthall was opened in 1975 and is one of Europe’s largest exhibition halls for contemporary art. Malmö Konsthall arranges exhibitions with an international focus which encompasses both the classics of modern art and current experiments.
Robert Zaretsky´s essay, first published in “The New York Times” on the 20th of februari 2017, is a starting point for the ongoing debate dealing with the politics and the spectacle.
TRUMP AND ”THE SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE”. ROBERT ZARETSKY
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 main theme of the 2017 edition of Malmö Fotobiennal is “THE SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE”. The 2017 edition of Malmö Fotobiennal celebrates 50 years since the release of the essay 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.
Michel Thomas / Head of the board Malmö Fotobiennal 2017