artists & participants
Foam presents 'Under Construction - New Positions in American Photography', a group exhibition featuring the work of nine young American and Canadian artists: Sara VanDerBeek, Lucas Blalock, Joshua Citarella, Jessica Eaton, Daniel Gordon, Owen Kydd, Matt Lipps, Matthew Porter and Kate Steciw. Even though the results of the artists' individual artistic practices are very diverse, the mentality, methodology and presentation of their work show a number of remarkable similarities.
A key characteristic is the investigative attitude they adopt to the photographic image and its representation. All of the participating artists are explicitly engaged in a fundamental reassessment of the value and significance of photography in the early 21st century. The far-reaching digitisation of society exerts an unparalleled influence on almost every aspect of the medium. This ranges from completely new photographic techniques (digitisation of the equipment) and the use of the photographic image (distribution via digital networks) to the value and significance of photography itself (in view of the never-ending stream of many millions of photographic images that are being taken, distributed and manipulated every day).
This fundamental reassessment is particularly appropriate and important in a society in which so much culturally relevant information is communicated via images and where an unprecedented and extremely complex dynamic has developed between images. In this new world, how can photography or a photograph be defined? What is the value and significance of photography in this age? How are photographic images created? How does photography relate to reality? What is the function of images in a society in which digitisation has so fundamentally altered the way we communicate (socially, politically and commercially)? What is the position of photography in the complex dynamic of contemporary networks? What is the relationship of the medium and its users to tradition and the past? What is the role of the creator?
These kinds of questions are of the utmost relevance for this new generation image makers. This is a reinvention of photography within a totally different societal context, taking account of more than 150 years of photographic history. It is no less than a photographic renaissance.