Fotomuseum Winterthur | Saturday, 12.04. – Sunday, 01.06.1997

Photo Text Photo Text – Dialogue of Photography and Text in Contemporary Arts

Umberto Eco has warned that we are on the way back into the Middle Ages, that we are surrendering the linguistic and discursive in favor of images which come pouring towards us emblematically. The well-known Italian linguist and author is probably right as far as every-day life is concerned, but in the arts there seems to have been a quite opposite trend in the last thirty years, namely, a strong connection between image and language, indeed a “linguistization” of art. In this exhibition, the relation of photographic images and the written word is given a comprehensive presentation for the first time.

Around 80 works from over 30 artists from Europe, the USA, and Canada have been united into a panorama of the past 30 years. The dialogue character of the exhibition makes evident that the photo-text combination as an art strategy is not a curiosity, but instead admits a view of important areas and questions of modern and contemporary art. Since the time of the Dadaists and the Constructivists, this method has been used to overcome the traditional separation of image and language. Photo and text are placed in a relation which increases the social-critical, narrative, analytical or poetic aspect of the image.

With works by Vito Acconci, Vincenzo Agnetti, John Baldessari, Robert Barry, Joseph Beuys, Heiner Blum, Victor Burgin, Willie Doherty, Bernard Faucon, Hamish Fulton, Jochen Gerz, Gilbert & George, Jenny Holzer, Douglas Huebler, Peter Hutchinson, On Kawara, Karen Knorr, Joseph Kosuth, Barbara Kruger, Ketty La Rocca, Marie-Jo Lafontaine, Louise Lawler, Jean Le Gac, Ken Lum, Urs Lüthi, Duane Michals, Maurizio Nannucci, Shirin Neshat, Laura Padgett, Giulio Paolini, Olivier Richon and Klaus Staeck.

The exhibition was curated by Peter Weiermair. Realisation in Winterthur: Urs Stahel. A cooperation with the Frankfurter Kunstverein.