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Seen By #9

27.10.2017 to 07.01.2018
Museum für Fotografie

OH SO SOLID, ALL THAT AIR focuses on the transformations of the urban and its spaces, the role of economics and financialization as well as their traces in the social sphere. In assembling hints and fragments from everyday perception where the individual parts become pieces of a greater puzzle, the exhibition aims to find images that illustrate today’s increasingly abstract and elusive forms of value creation.

"All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned," says the Communist Manifesto. In relation to this quotation, the question is asked in what form the substances which were melted into air through the great onslaught of modernity, crystallize and manifest themselves in the present. There is indeed a lot of smoke in the air, indicitative of the hard facts of this contemporary moment: fine dust, tear gas, carbon dioxide. And haven't the materialistic and indeed profane objects of today’s capitalism now been given the same status as the once sacred had? Doesn't the almost dogmatic belief in perpetual growth hold a kind of sacred status in today’s western societies?

Each new cycle of "creative destruction," each exploitation of common properties, results in a new spatial and material constellation, a visible phenomenon, which can also be seen in the restructuring and the expulsions in the urban sphere. What do they look like, the new Haussmann boulevards, the new Crystal Palaces and the new panoptic prisons? What are the new factories where human relationships are converted into bitcoins? In what kind of scenarios does modernization take place in different geographic and political spaces?

The exhibition presents insights into the promises and abysses of this modernity, exploring places of exploitation and commercialization, but also routes of escape, poetics and digression. In addition to documentary work and photographic studies, the exhibition also collects such personal, intimate observations and associations, thus pointing to the ambiguity and inconsistency of the signs. It speaks of the difficulty of a political understanding of our own and of public life.

With works by:
Andres Villarreal, Ben McCready, Dan Dansen, Inia Steinbach & Max Godt, Max Siebenhaar, Minh Duc Pham, Moritz Lacler, Pharaz Azimi, Tamar Magradze, Wieland Schönfelder

Exhibition Series Seen By

Seen By #9 is part of the exhibition series Seen By, a joint project presented at the Museum für Fotografie and organized by the Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK). Its aim is to rethink curatorial and artistic strategies for working with contemporary photography. More information:

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Exhibition Series Seen By