MORTEN ANDERSEN UNTITLED.CITIES
In the FOTOHOF archive: Christian Wachter - EUROPE
Opens at September 29, 7:00 pm
Exhibition run: September 30 - November 19, 2016
As a teenager in the early 1980s Norwegian photographer Morten Andersen (*1965) began taking photographs of friends in Oslo’s punk rock scene and publishing them in home-made fanzines. The literary term ‘dirty realism’, i.e. the unadorned, laconic, yet passionately committed portrayal of everyday occurrences ‘warts and all’, aptly describes Andersen’s photographic work, too. Without any academic grounding whatsoever, Andersen has steadily developed his powerful work, attending workshops by photographers such as Nan Goldin and others, and publishing numerous books.
At Fotohof, Andersen presents photographs from his most recent book Untitled.Cities from 2013. In it, he explores the DNA of urban settlements, without identifying any specific or recognisable locations or engaging anecdotally with the character or atmosphere of a particular town or city. His untamed and expressive photos are all about the abstraction of urban structures, inscribed into which are issues of inclusion and exclusion, power struggles, and social cohesion in public spaces. All seventeen of Morten Andersen’s books are featured at the library gallery.
Morten Andersen, *1965 in Akershus, Norway; lives and works in Oslo. www.shadowlab.no
In the FOTOHOF archive:
EUROPE. rêvée, revue, revisited
In 1992, right after the signing of the Maastricht Treaty and the promulgation of the rules and regulations for the new political union, Austrian fine art photographer Christian Wachter set off in search of the ideas and ideals on which this new Europe would be built. He was influenced in his quest by central European thinkers such as Jacques Rancière, Ferdinand de Saussure and Walter Benjamin.
In the urban layouts and architecture of Parisian squares (but also in Vienna and Italy) he found 'signs' (which according to de Saussure not only re-produce reality, but also actively produce it) for that which has been and that which will come, 'as if looking at the present and the near future from the distant past'.
This series, which Christian Wachter rediscovered, as it were, in his own archive in 2013, features twelve chapters comprising large baryta-coated analogue prints. They have been expanded with historical typefaces to 'achieve a formal anachronism and a structural "dissensus" (Jacques Rancière) in the relationships between the images and the captions'.
It is 'by no means an encyclopaedic-documentary-systematic-topographical description of "Europe". Rather, an idiosyncratic, not to say "heretic", historiography, European IMAGI-NATIONS, as it were'.
Christian Wachter, born in Oberwart, Austria, in 1949, lives and works in Vienna.