Evoking Reality

Constituting actuality in photography and video art

until May 5th 2019
Opening: Saturday, November 24, 2018, 3:00-6:00 p.m.
Daimler Contemporary Berlin

‘Evoking Reality’ presents objects of political photography and video art from the Daimler Art Collection (DAC) that formulate new concepts of approaching current images of reality. Starting in the early 1990s, the DAC expanded the focus of its collection to works of new media: photography, video, object art and installations. The new acquisitions were presented in the three-part exhibition series ‘Photography, Video, Mixed Media I-III’ between 2003 and 2007 at the Daimler Contemporary exhibition space in Berlin. This focus on photography and video has been pursued intensively ever since. Today, the collection consists of a constantly growing portfolio of significant works that visualize contemporary perspectives on global issues and political conflicts.

The exhibition ‘Evoking Reality’ is devoted to contemporary strategies that distance themselves from established principles of representation and popular narratives of photo journalism. These strategies create an open image of reality that aims for a critical sensitization in the observer. A critical consciousness is appealed to with regards to media’s methods of mediation and representation, which have shaped the modern eye with recurring images of suffering and scenes of violence for decades. Based on a re-reading of “Regarding the Pain of Others” (2003) by Susan Sontag, ‘Evoking Reality’ deals with current media and conceptual approaches to political, public and resulting private conflict situations. The interweaving of fiction, staging, construction and reality creates uncertainty in the observer, who experiences each strategy of alienation as unexpected and at the same time as an instance of reality creation. Openness and ambiguity encourage observers to work through the occurrences on their own, to reflect upon visual impulses and sometimes even to perform intellectual expurgation. Reality is experienced as a fragile construct that continuously changes its form from different perspectives. The works in this exhibition evoke a moment of reality that makes it possible to grasp the global reality of our lives through ambiguity, contradiction, interconnectivity and relativity.

The recently acquired twelve-part photo series Congo Democratic (2006) by Guy Tillim, who received the ‘Mercedes-Benz Award for South African Art and Culture’ in 2004, will be seen in Berlin for the first time. In addition, photographic works from artists including Jane Alexander, Clément Cogitore, Tacita Dean, Cao Fei, Pieter Hugo, Maya Zack and the video installations Snow White (2001) by Bernie Searle and Mermaids [Erasing the Border of Azkelon] (2011) by Sigalit Landau and The amorous Indies (2017) by Clément Cogitore are central elements of the exhibition.

›Evoking Reality‹ presents works by sixteen artists from ten different nations:
Mustafah Abdulaziz (USA), Jane Alexander (ZA), Clément Cogitore (F), Tacita Dean (GB), Alia Farid (KWT), Cao Fei (CHN), Abrie Fourie (ZA), Pieter Hugo (ZA), Sigalit Landau (IL), Richard Mosse (IRL), Viviane Sassen (NL), Oskar Schmidt (D), Berni Searle (ZA), Guy Tillim (ZA), Sharif Waked (IL/PS), Maya Zack (IL)

Curated by Renate Wiehager and Nadine Isabelle Henrich

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Events

  • Saturday December 1st 2018
    -
    Daimler Contemporary
    Curator's tour-Evocative realisms
    Clément Cogitore, Richard Mosse, Berni Searle, Maya Zack
    The exhibition ›Evoking Reality‹ elaborates the evocative potential in artistic works that contrast explicit openness, ambiguity and dissonance with the neutrality topos of the documentary and thus allow an individual constitution of reality. Photography and video are examined for their limits and possibilities, their social functions and meanings, and in particular for conventions of representation and their instrumentalization in cultural, political and economic mechanisms and power dynamics. It is not only the fields of individual and collective conflict dimensions that unify the exhibition's works, but rather the complex, implicit relationship between form and content.
    The guided tour is in German language and free of charge. There is no registration necessary.
  • Saturday February 2nd 2019
    -
    Daimler Contemporary
    Thematic guided tour-History as a narrative construct
    Tacita Dean, Oskar Schmidt, Maya Zack
    In light of historical catastrophes, various works in the current exhibition reflect on traumatic memories as stratifications and summaries of personal and collective disasters. The tour is dedicated to complex artistic analyses of history and illuminates the relationship between individual fate and national history. While Tacita Dean stages a new sequence of quasi-cinematographic events with historical photographs and Oskar Schmidt brings to mind the pictorial compositions of iconic photographs by means of re-enactment, Maya Zack creates a traumatic experience through a digitally reconstructed memory space.
    The guided tour is in German language and free of charge. There is no registration necessary.

  • Saturday March 2nd 2019
    -
    Daimler Contemporary
    Thematic guided tour-Disposition shifts: Between journalism and art
    Mustafah Abdulaziz, Pieter Hugo, Richard Mosse, Guy Tillim
    Many exhibition photographs and films explore the boundaries between conventional photo-journalism and positions in contemporary art. They oscillate between pure documentation and technical alienation and also institutionally between photojournalistic contexts and museum exhibition spaces. The tour aims to illuminate this transfer with its different forms of reception and distribution. Even the recontextualization of the individual image within the many series shown in the exhibition seems to articulate skepticism-or even a relativity of one's own knowledge.
    The guided tour is in German language and free of charge. There is no registration necessary.
  • Saturday April 6th 2019
    -
    Daimler Contemporary
    Thematic guided tour-History as a narrative construct
    Tacita Dean, Oskar Schmidt, Maya Zack
    In light of historical catastrophes, various works in the current exhibition reflect on traumatic memories as stratifications and summaries of personal and collective disasters. The tour is dedicated to complex artistic analyses of history and illuminates the relationship between individual fate and national history. While Tacita Dean stages a new sequence of quasi-cinematographic events with historical photographs and Oskar Schmidt brings to mind the pictorial compositions of iconic photographs by means of re-enactment, Maya Zack creates a traumatic experience through a digitally reconstructed memory space.
    The guided tour is in German language and free of charge. There is no registration necessary.
  • Saturday May 4th 2019
    -
    Daimler Contemporary
    Thematic guided tour-Disposition shifts: Between journalism and art
    Mustafah Abdulaziz, Pieter Hugo, Richard Mosse, Guy Tillim
    Many exhibition photographs and films explore the boundaries between conventional photo-journalism and positions in contemporary art. They oscillate between pure documentation and technical alienation and also institutionally between photojournalistic contexts and museum exhibition spaces. The tour aims to illuminate this transfer with its different forms of reception and distribution. Even the recontextualization of the individual image within the many series shown in the exhibition seems to articulate skepticism--or even a relativity of one's own knowledge.

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