Fotomuseum Winterthur | Saturday, 12.06. – Sunday, 22.08.1993

Real Stories – Real Events in Twelve New Forms Described and Documented

The exhibition presents works from fourteen English, Canadian, and American photographers and artists, who all react in their own way to the paradox of photography: on the one hand, we continue to enjoy documenting our own lives and the lives of others – on vacation, at anniversaries and weddings, in everyday life – showing how banal photographic documentation has become. On the other hand, photographic and electronic images have developed into media images and, therefore, into lucrative products, which now and then are no longer even made on site, but rather created digitally on screen.

In both cases, a powerful drive to document life is evident; in both cases, however, we no longer know what our trust, our belief in these pictures, in their possible relation to reality is based on. They are too easy to produce and the intention to use photographs that appear to be documentary for manipulative purposes is sometimes too obvious. The only thing clear is that the need to document actually exists, and real stories and problems that we want to document exist in abundance. Yet maybe today they need to be staged, installed, or woven into dense fields of image and text in order to communicate something real in a believable way.

The fourteen artists in Real Stories display a series of possibilities for the documentary and narrative image: some question it, others reject it, still others use it, and others reinvent it. Multiple works contain commentaries on the medium of photography itself and the procedures of representation in our culture. Others utilize documentary and narrative approaches in order to express specific content and concerns. The methods encompass everything, from complex multimedia installations to simple image text stories. Above all the works tell real stories about real events.

The exhibition was curated by Jan-Erik Lundström. A collaboration with the Museet for Fotokunst, Odense.