Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie: Reconsidering Icons

The iconic image is a known phenomenon. Newspapers and news portals constantly label images as „iconic“. Once a photograph actually gains popularity news channels are quick to profit from it. They make this popularity the subject of further articles, which only serve one purpose: to further increase the image‘s reach and its cultural influence.

Only few of  the millions of images in the world have become icons. The exhibition „Reconsidering Icons“ doesn’t show iconic images, yet it is full of them. It combines different projects from past years, which make use of redesigning, revision and redefining strategies. Some projects return to the place of origin of an iconic image. Some reconstruct them. Some trace their various medial forms of appearance. Some use new technologies, such as virtual reality and 3D-modeling, to take us back in time to images of earlier epochs of photography.

Independent of the particular artistic approach demonstrated „Reconsidering Icons“ approaches the iconic image as a complex form of cultural commons. This form requires a critical and philosophical observation, but a playful one as well: If iconic images shape our collective imagination, we should handle them imaginatively.

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