“Classically, photojournalism has been governed by a number of tropes: the heroic figure of the photographer, the economy of access to the event (getting “close enough,” as Capa famously said), the iconic image, the value of ‘the real’ and its faithful representation in the picture, the mission of reporting the truth and conveying it to a faraway public, and often a commitment to a sort of advocacy or at least a bearing witness to terrible events.
Antiphotojournalism names a systematic critique of these cliches, and a complex set of counter-proposals. It names a profound and passionate fidelity to the image, too, an image unleashed from the demands of this tradition and freed to ask other questions, make other claims, tell other stories. Sometimes the gesture is reflective, self-reflective — what are we photographers doing here, what do we assume, how do we work, what do we expect and what is expected of us? Sometimes the desire is evidentiary — not in the old sense of simply offering the ‘evidence’ of images to an assumedly homogenous public opinion, but in much more precise way: photographs have become evidence in war crimes tribunals. Sometimes the innovation is technological, whether it involves working with the hi-tech resources of advanced satellite imagery or the low-tech crowd-sourcing of participatory protest imaging. Sometimes the practices are archival, even bordering on the fetishistic.
And sometimes the question is simply whether we even need images at all.”
The exhibition is curated by Thomas Keenan and Carles Guerra (see him talk about antiphotojournalism on You Tube here) and incorporates the work of an array of Magnum photographers including Broomberg & Chanarin, Mauro Andrizzi, Jonathan Cavender, Robbie Wright, Shane McDonald, Hito Steyerl, Ariella Azoulay, Paul Lowe, Goran Galic & Gian-Reto Gredig, Laura Kurgan, Renzo Martens, Kadir van Lohuizen, Allan Sekula, Phil Collins, Walid Raad/The Atlas Group, Paul Fusco, Gilles Peress and Susan Meiselas. Compilations by Sohrab Mohebbi, Eyal Weizman, with Yazan Khalili and Tony Chakar.
It is on display from April 1 to June 8, 2011 at the Foam_Fotografiemuseum, Keizersgracht 609, 1017 DS Amsterdam.