Pause and Participate. Play and Photograph.
Held in collaboration with İpek Aşıkoğlu, at Berlin Summer University
Finalised with an exhibition at Universität der Künste with the same title.
5-day workshop and exhibition on the theory of photography, ethics, intention and identity with a special focus on participatory art practises and game production. After three days of theoretical input on image consumption and ethics, we will produce an interactive exhibition together.
This workshop, Pause and participate. Play and photograph., starts by questioning how photography is used and what purpose it can serve. What is this purpose - to document, to contribute to the world, to create a representation, or to inform? Photojournalism and photographs of violence could be good examples of this, as the intentions of these photographs depend on many factors. The vernacular photographs taken at Abu Gharib prison led to the elimination of crimes against humanity and torture. Still, at the very beginning, these images were taken with a bad intention - to show the "proud" U.S. soldiers in their "victories" against civilians. Or what was the intention of Annie Lebowitz when she pictured Olena Selenska in front of a destroyed airplane where presumably people died?
Was it right to portray a politician as an iconic hero in Hollywood aesthetics, even if it shows the Ukrainian people's justified struggle? What about harmonising pain and aesthetics, how can we read the work of Sebastião Salgado? Is it possible to understand the pain without getting lost in the aesthetic style?
Since its invention, photography has always been used as part of colonialism and imperial power. Even today, when photography has become widely available and relatively affordable, the power relations between the people behind and in front of the camera persist. Our response to eliminating this power structure is play and participation. Together, we will pause and focus on participation. We will play with photographs and look for alternative ways to produce images. We will often take play for granted and approach it as a means to address important and serious issues; to make a breach in outdated methods. Play can support a fresh perspective, establish an alternative relationship between the producer and the audience, and encourage participation.
Counter Archives, Potential Histories
Two day Workshop with İpek Çınar
Aimed at creative students and art students, this workshop addresses the question: is photography a participatory, diverse and non-hierarchical medium? The workshop focuses on the power relations that photography creates between the people in front of and behind the camera - the photographed and the photographers, the media, among others, who either passively or actively shape the perspective.
The ideas and works developed here were exhibited under the title of Potential Exhibition at KR Potsdamer Straße as part of the KUNSTRAUM 2023 program.
Participating Artists:Elsa Benamouzig, Roni Bogin, Julianne Chua, İpek Çınar, Haley Hoyer, Anna Frehiwot Maconi, Anastasiia Nurullina, Kristina Vasilevskaja