Considering the fact that its inauguration in 2013, Studio for Propositional Cinema had manufactured get the job done that may be explained as paracinematic or paraphotographic—engaging with the product constraints and possibilities of each mediums with out always taking a photograph or building a movie. For this rationale, the collective’s latest solo exhibition at Museum Abteiberg, “The Digital camera of Disaster,” offers an speedy shock to the viewer: a sequence of sensuous, massive-format black-and-white photographs adhering to a few characters by way of publish-apocalyptic land- and cityscapes.
Contrary to facile appeals to its representational electric power, informational accessibility, and democratic circulation, the collective views pictures as an extractive know-how of the industrial age: a destructive artwork that sees the globe as a raw substance on which the forces of manufacturing can act. It progressively turns into apparent, in point, that the disaster of the exhibition’s title refers to the creation of pictures as much as it does to the medium’s extinction. If the photograph is a item of an significantly catastrophic modernity, how, if at all, can we plan for its potential?
Hanging in mirrored frames on silver walls, each and every photograph in the exhibition options text printed specifically on the glazing. They tell the tale of a band of photographic rebels resisting the homogeneity of spectacular lifestyle by trying to keep a sort of analogue image-producing alive after a little something like the conclusion of the earth, in this article presented as the stop of the impression. “We can retain the risk of producing our have images,” writes the Studio, “by regaining manage of the apparatus of image-building, retaining manufacturing recipes and awareness open up-resource and available, and setting up and maintaining networks for their distribution, like how illicit awareness was retained and handed together in the so-named Darkish Ages.” Intriguing vitrines loaded with evidence of historic photographic processes—including a digital camera and several minerals and chemicals—offer both of those evidence of the medium’s past and a self-professed survival guidebook.
Engaging in the violence of pictures and at the same time encouraging many others to reclaim the process for themselves, the Studio dares to theorize the situation of all impression-producing at our existing historic juncture. It is some thing close to: “I just cannot go on, I’ll go on.”