Paul Graham – New Europe
New Europe confronts the Euro-utopian dream of a united continent with the screaming, uneventful banality of today and with the shadows of its past. Paul Graham’s color photographs visualize history and show its effects in everyday life, even when it is unrecognized or contested and sometimes even trivialized until it ends up as a child’s toy. We encounter history when, from out of the depths of time, it hits the surface, whether we trip over its gravestone, pass it by unawares, or spit on it in contempt.
Interspersed are images of people from today, pictures of immersion, escaping, into music, alcohol, cigarettes, or drug addiction, into the ecstatic kick. These are pictures of a comprehensive commercialization. Together with the signs of history, a physically experienceable portrait is formed of contemporary European reality, a social and psychological landscape, whose traces can be equally felt in things, gestures, and the indifferent faces – surrounded by the laughter of empty perspectives.
The exhibition was curated by Urs Stahel.