Elina Brotherus − The Role of the Model
In the FOTOHOF archive: Christian Wachter - EUROPE
Opens at November 24, 7.30 pm
Exhibition run: November 25 2016 − January 21 2017
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.