Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam and Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation proudly present ‘Under Construction – New Positions in American Photography’, a group exhibition featuring ten young American and Canadian photographers. Even though the results of the artists’ individual practices are very diverse, the mentality, methodology and presentation of their work show a number of remarkable similarities. A key characteristic is the investigative attitude they adopt in looking at the photographic image and its representation. All the featured artists are explicitly engaged in a fundamental reassessment of the value and significance of photography in the early 21st century. This exhibition was first shown at Foam in Amsterdam from September to December 2014.
Foam is all about photography, focusing on enabling people all over the world to experience and enjoy photography, whether it’s in the museum in Amsterdam, online, via the internationally distributed Foam Magazine or in the Foam Editions gallery. Foam is for photographers, picture editors, designers and all those who have a passion for photography. Foam focuses especially on exhibitions, publications, discussions and specific projects relevant to contemporary themes in this field. Of course, well known photographers and historical work have an important place on Foam’s agenda. But special attention in the exhibition program and elsewhere is given to nurturing upcoming talented artists.
The heart of the Foam organisation is in Amsterdam. From there they develop and produce their exhibitions programme. Foam manages print publications like Foam Magazine as well as all online content. Foam Editions also has its home here, offering a wide range of work for collectors.
Essential to Foam is their extensive international network of photography professionals and partners. They help to plan and develop new projects, ensuring that the largest audience possible can experience the power of photography.
The exhibitions features works by Joshua Citarella, Sara Cwynar, Jessica Eaton, Daniel Gordon, Matthew Leifheit & Cynthia Talmadge, Matt Lipps, Matthew Porter, Kate Steciw and Sara VanDerBeek.
The far-reaching digitization of society exerts an unparalleled influence on almost every aspect of the medium. This ranges from entirely new photographic techniques (digitization of the equipment) and the use of the photographic image (distribution via digital networks) to the value and significance of photography itself (in view of the never-ending stream of many millions of photographic images that are being taken, distributed and manipulated every day). This fundamental reassessment is particularly appropriate and important in a society in which so much culturally relevant information is communicated via images and where an unprecedented and extremely complex dynamic has developed amongst images. In this new world, how can photography or a photograph be defined? What is the value and significance of photography? What is the role of the artist?
These kinds of questions are of utmost relevance for this new generation of mage makers who all represent very specific positions within a complex landscape. One of the most distinguishing features is that the image is constructed and built up from decontextualized elements. Furthermore, its aesthetic qualities are largely determined by the use of abstract forms and colors. Whether the photograph is created entirely from scratch or whether it is put together using archetypal images, art history references, archive material or pictures derived from the internet, the end result is fragmented and layered. The artists make use of analogue or digital workflows, or a combination of both, often using advanced post-production software. With the introduction of three dimensionally as a self-evident addition, the photographic image is not always limited to a flat surface.
The participants of Under Construction are in fact engaged with a reinvention of photography within I totally different societal context, taking account of more than 150 years of photographic history. It is no less than a photographic renaissance.
To mark the exhibition, Foam Magazine devoted its whole #38 Issue: Under Construction, to the work of the above listed photographers, featuring extensive portfolios and texts by contributors such as Marcel Feil, Joshua Chang, Lorenzo Durantini and Hito Steyerl.
‘Under Construction – New positions in American Photography’ will open Friday March 13, 6-9pm at Pioneer Works.