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 free online publication consists of essays by Renate Wiehager, Nadine Isabelle Henrich, Wiebke Hahn and Friederike Horstmann. Postcolonial theory and recent history of photography form the central topics of the texts.