Still Searching…

Von 2012 bis 2023 beschäftigte sich der Diskurs-Blog des Fotomuseum Winterthur interdisziplinär mit allen Aspekten der Fotografie und ihrer Rolle in der visuellen Kultur. Die insgesamt fast 50 eingeladenen Blogger_innen von Still Searching…  diskutierten fotografische Medien und Formen als Bestandteil komplexer technologischer, kapitalistischer und ideologischer Netzwerke und verhandelten aktuellste und relevante Fragestellungen rund um die Fotografie.

Blog series: Future Histories

Steffen Siegel | 23.04. – 15.07.2020
Future Histories

In his blog series “Future Histories,” Steffen Siegel discusses various problems of older and more recent historiographies of photography – and how to go beyond them. Photographic image-production and the medium’s historiography share almost the same age. However, compared to photography’s innovative or even revolutionary visual strategies, the forms of writing about its history have remained surprisingly traditional. Photography Studies always have been a nomadic enterprise within an interdisciplinary environment. Nevertheless, there is a risk of taming these research activities by adopting models and genres from other academic disciplines. This blog series is an invitation to discuss the following questions: How can we arrive at new ways of reflecting on photo history? How can we create a bigger picture without just writing another compendious book? Thus, how can “Future Histories” lead to different ways of representing the medium’s history?

Leaving the Book Behind

Dienstag, 30.06.2020
<p>When I started writing this blog series a couple of weeks ago, we all were busy with very different things than photography and photo history – and we still are. The current pandemic is shaping our lives in previously unimaginable ways. In the strict sense of the word, there is no photograph of the virus itself. Yet, in this current situation, photography plays anything but a minor role: Pictures are currently an especially important tool for our day-to-day orientation.</p>
Blog series: Institutions and the Production of ‘Photographs’

Elizabeth Edwards | 15.09. – 31.10.2016
Institutions and the Production of ‘Photographs’

In her blog series, visual and historical anthropologist Elizabeth Edwards will scrutinize the processes and mechanisms of institutional collecting. Why and how are photographs acquired by institutions and what are the implications for the photographs that get curated? And what happens when non-collections are brought into the remit of ‘history of photography’? Edwards will discuss assumptions, categories of description and hierarchies of values that shape the management of collections and look at how the new historiography of photography is being articulated in museums and galleries. Finally, she will consider the impact of digital technologies on the way in which photographs are constituted as both historical objects and ‘collections’. What are the effects on institutional assumptions and practices, and what does this do to a history of photography and its articulation in public space? 

The Spectre of the Digital

Donnerstag, 20.10.2016
<p>I finished my last post thinking about shifting notions of ‘importance’ and ‘relevance’. This has, in part, been driven by digital technologies and the financial, socio-political and ethical pressures on institutions to give access to their collections, and in ways that connect to contemporary users. Likewise the massive and ever-increasing swirl of images in circulation is, of course, digitally-based, raising very real questions about the very nature of ‘photography’.</p>
Blog series: Ideas about the Contemporary Role of Photography within Digital Culture and Artistic Practice

Melanie Bühler | 16.03. – 30.04.2015
Ideas about the Contemporary Role of Photography within Digital Culture and Artistic Practice

From mid-March till the end of April, Melanie Bühler’s blog series will address a number of ideas about the contemporary role of photography within digital culture and artistic practice. She will also examine the role of digital photography within the context of photography as both an artistic medium and a specialized discipline and explore how networked photographic practices are reflected in the work of contemporary artists.

What I Talk about When I Talk about Photography

Montag, 30.03.2015
<div>If one thinks about photography in medium-specific terms, digitization actually hasn’t introduced any significant challenges to the essence of the photographic moment. Cameras and iPhones that produce digital photographs still contain optical lenses that record light from which an image is generated.<br><br></div>
Blog series: Photography versus Contemporary Art

Ekaterina Degot | 01.11. – 15.12.2014
Photography versus Contemporary Art

Until December 15 the curator, writer and professor Ekaterina Degot will explore some of the paradoxes inherent to the complex relations between photography and so-called contemporary art.

Photographers versus Artists: A Colonial Story?

Samstag, 01.11.2014
<div>In this blog, I will explore—in a necessarily fragmented way—some of the paradoxes inherent to the complex relations between photography and so-called contemporary art, as seen through the eyes of a curator, a writer, and, in the first place, a teacher, since for almost a decade I have been teaching at a school that educates both photographers <em>and</em> artists. <br><br></div>

Photography versus Contemporary Art: The Case of the Lecture Performance

Freitag, 28.11.2014
<div>There is less and less photography (and photographers) in contemporary art exhibitions, but more and more photographs. The photograph is a lens through which we see the contemporary world, which comes to us always already reproduced. Almost every static image we see these days is technically a photograph, since even art critics rarely cross paths with original paintings. <br><br></div>

Photographers versus Contemporary Artists: Whose Crisis Is Deeper?

Mittwoch, 10.12.2014
<p>Photography and contemporary art are engaged in an entangled relationship with unresolved issues of power. Essentially, photography is one of art’s media, while art is one of photography’s applications. Exactly this is immersing both in an endless chicken-versus-egg causality dispute. Indeed, even if photography is obviously younger than art as such, contemporary art might still be younger than photography—it depends on what we define as the former’s beginning.</p>

Photography versus Contemporary Art: What’s Next?

Dienstag, 16.12.2014
<p>We have reviewed several aspects of the highly competitive—even love/hate—relationship between contemporary art and photography. Is there anything left to say? Perhaps something about the future of both. They will hardly be able to avoid each other.</p>
Blog series: Abigail Solomon-Godeau

Abigail Solomon-Godeau | 16.04. – 31.05.2014
Abigail Solomon-Godeau

Starting on April 15, 2014, the American art critic and professor emerita Abigail Solomon-Godea, will reflect on a selection of the exhibitions (i.e., the particular) viewed in the past couple of weeks and try to distill, or extract, something that might count as some valid generalities about photographic practice and photographic discourse in their current manifestations.

Two Radically Disjunct Approaches

Dienstag, 15.04.2014
<div>This is the first of five blogs I will be writing for the Fotomuseum Winterthur and, as it happens, the first I have ever written. But because almost everything I write is done on commission, the daunting freedom provided by this kind of blog (“write anything on photography”) is more intimidating than exhilarating. Given such freewheeling editorial liberty, I had to decide whether to orient this first blog to the “general,” or to the “particular.” <br><br></div>

Boundary Problems: Addressing History in the Image

Dienstag, 22.04.2014
<div>In the powerful group exhibition entitled <a href="http://www.galerielelong.com/exhibition_pr/2252">Re-framing History at the Galerie Lelong in NYC,</a> only one of the 21 works on view falls under the rubric of “photography.” But even so, in addition to its seven photographs, fifteen 35mm slides, and a contact sheet, the work includes two videos, a set of 20 matchboxes, and four reproductions of printed matter. I refer here to Susan Meiselas’ mixed-media <em>The Life of an Image: Molotov Man.</em><br><br></div>

A Tale of Two Mapplethorpes

Mittwoch, 30.04.2014
<div>A large retrospective of Robert Mapplethorpe’s work has just opened at the Grand Palais in Paris. It is coupled with another Mapplethorpe exhibition at the Musée Rodin where Mapplethorpe’s photographs—I am not joking—are displayed with various sculptures by Rodin.<br><br></div>
Blog series: Marvin Heiferman

Marvin Heiferman | 01.11. – 15.12.2013
Marvin Heiferman

In his blog series, Marvin Heiferman will take a broad look at the medium as it is changing and being redefined, and consider the issues in and around the medium that are provocative. Rather than understanding photography as a medium in crisis, as some people seem so eager to suggest, Heiferman sees photography in the midst of being re-imagined – this is will be his starting point to look at and talk about over the course of his blogging period. He will use news reports and stories about topical images, events, and issues in visual culture as the basis for taking a weekly look at how photography and our relationship to it are changing. He will link to stories, write about the issues that they raise, and invite readers to take an active role in the discussion. 

A Moving Target

Freitag, 01.11.2013
<p>Using <em>Still Searching</em> as a shared space, what I hope to do over the next six weeks is both to stimulate a dialog and extend a project I’ve been working on lately, which involves taking a broad look at photography as the medium itself is in the midst of transformation. To that end, watch for links I’ll post periodically to online news reports and timely stories about provocative images, events, and issues in visual culture.</p>

Posing as What?

Samstag, 09.11.2013
<div>Montage of Students Posing Awkwardly for What Turns Out to be a Video Camera:</div>

Photography, She Said, Makes Me Nervous

Dienstag, 03.12.2013
<div>Decades ago, when I wanted to be a painter and also needed a job, I thought it might be good to get some hands-on art world experience. I went to a number of galleries to inquire if there might be any positions and—in the era before MFA, museum studies, and arts administration programs made that crazily competitive—was hired by Harold Jones, the founding director of LIGHT Gallery, which had recently opened on Madison Avenue. Harold, who had spotted me looking at shows there previously, took a chance, hired me, and in ways I still marvel at, changed the course of my life.<br><br></div>
Blog series: Photographic Relationality

George Baker | 01.06. – 15.07.2013
Photographic Relationality

George Baker will write around the idea of thinking or theorizing “photographic relationality.” We think of photography, so often, in terms of what Rosalind Krauss called a “theory of gaps”: the photograph as an operation of visual isolation, framing, cropping, freezing an object as a motionless specimen. But the vaunted “doubling” in which photography has been involved is also the creation of a relationship; the photograph’s “indexical” tie to the world a bond or affective tie more than a simple technical effect, and one that still needs further thought and description. Touching upon specific photographs and photographers, pushing forward from the implications of select contemporary artistic practices engaged with photography, I want to think about the relational status and potential of photography over its longer history. I want to write a set of speculative entries on the photograph as an image-couple more than the photograph as image-double – theorizing photographic linkage over technological reproducibility as the central promise of photography today. A set of entries imagining an affective theory of photography, building upon thoughts on photography and love from Roland Barthes to Eduardo Cadava.

The Relational Field of Photography

Freitag, 31.05.2013
<div>At the end of last summer, during one of my trips from Los Angeles to New York, I was lucky enough to be able to visit the artist Zoe Leonard’s first exhibition at the gallery Murray Guy.<br><br><br></div>

Image Couple

Dienstag, 16.07.2013
<p>Of all the arcana produced by our collective obsession with Roland Barthes’ theory of photography in the book <em>Camera Lucida</em>, by the endless exegesis and investigation this text on photography seems to inspire, I find the following the most impressive. Buried in a footnote two-thirds of the way to the end of Eduardo Cadava and Paola Cortés-Rocca’s essay “Notes on Love and Photography,” a text first published in <em>October</em> magazine a few years ago, we read:</p>
Blog series: The Relation between Photography in General and Photographs in Particular

David Campany | 15.04. – 31.05.2013
The Relation between Photography in General and Photographs in Particular

During the next six weeks, our „blogger in residence“ David Campany will write about the intricate relations between words and pictures, but also about the difference between thinking about photography in general and thinking about individual photographs: “The general and the particular. This is not unusual. The split has haunted photography at least since it became a mass medium and modern artistic medium in the 1920s. … When photographs are discussed in their absence, under the name ‘photography’ let’s say, the writer is more likely to take liberties with them than if they were there on the page/screen. The writer is also more likely to generalize.”

Photography and Photographs

Sonntag, 14.04.2013
<div>My first post will be quite long but I will make up for it with shorter subsequent posts. I’m hoping they will add up to an essay on a single theme: the relation between photography in general and photographs in particular, although this may change in response to comments and contributions as we go.<br><br></div>
Blog series: What Remains of the Photographic beyond Photography