Press release | Amsterdam, 3 May 2012
Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs
Light of Other Days
8 June - 22 August 2012
The Swiss duo Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs (1979) are
viewed by many as one of the most promising teams in contemporary
photography. Since 2003 the pair have worked together on a variety
of projects on the cutting edge of photography, sculpture and
installation art. Their work provides intelligent and often ironic
commentary on the history of photography, the nature of photos, how
cameras operate and the role of the photographer. Few subjects
remain untouched in their complex yet highly accessible work where
reality collides with fiction and humour converges with
seriousness. This summer Foam will be the first museum in the
Netherlands to organise an exhibition of work by Onorato &
Krebs, consisting of a unique presentation of new work and objects
from their previous projects.
Tayio Onorato and Nico Krebs became acquainted during
their studies at the Zurich University of the Arts. Typical of
their oeuvre is the interplay with the two-dimensional character of
photography. They carefully construct their photos as sculptors do,
moulding them until the final result is perfect - often paired with
a subtle feeling for humour. This playful approach was developed
during their studies, in reaction to the influential but strict and
rigid documentary style of the Dusseldorf School of
The Light of Other Days exhibition comprises both spatial
and two-dimensional work. The principal ingredients are dozens of
photos created by placing a sheet of a photosensitive paper
directly in front of a camera. The light then falls on the paper
instead of a negative and an instant image is created. Manipulation
would seem to be impossible - the image gives an accurate
reproduction of the subject. But fact and fiction are seldom
unambiguous with Onorato & Krebs. With references to camera
obscuras and photograms, they create their own complete universe in
which object and representation clash with each other.
Not only do Onorato & Krebs experiment with photographic
processes but with the camera itself. Anything could ultimately
function as a camera, couldn't it? The title As Long as It
Photographs It Must Be a Camera is thereby thought-provoking.
In this project they worked with cameras they made themselves.
These 'Do it yourself' cameras are presented in the exhibition
space as sculptures in their own right. A turtle shell is thus
transformed into a camera (slow-photography?), as well as a stack
of photo history books - it is as if we are looking through the
eyes of our predecessors.
Many of Onorato & Krebs' projects reflect their vast knowledge
of photography and photo history. Their big breakthrough followed
the publication of the book The Great Unreal (2009) in
which they mixed the cliché of the great American landscape with
the way in which countless photographers have depicted it. Onorato
& Krebs also took the nearly obligatory 'American road trip',
but ended with a commentary on fact and fiction in photography that
was both intelligent and absurdist.
Since completing university, Onorato & Krebs have had
exhibitions in places including the Kunsthalle Mainz, Germany, in
2011; Museum im Bellpark in Kriens, Switzerland, in 2010; Kunsthaus
Aargau in Aurau, Switzerland in 2009; and PS1 MoMA in New York in
2006. They have also participated in group shows such as
PhotoIreland Dublin and the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn in 2011,
Fotohof Salzburg, the Kunsthalle Munchen in Munich and the
Kunstraum Düsseldorf in 2010, and Fotomuseum Winterthur,
Switzerland, in 2009. Their work is included in various
collections in Switzerland, including Fotomuseum Winterthur. A
portfolio by the duo will be published In Foam Magazine #31 Ref.
Onorato & Krebs live and work in Zurich and Berlin.
Light of Other Days by Onorato & Krebs can be seen
from 8 June - 22 August 2012 at Foam. Open daily 10 am - 6 pm,
Thurs/Fri 10 am - 9 pm. Tickets: € 8,50.
With the support of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.
Note to editors: For information and
visual material please contact the communications department,
e-mail foam[at]foam.org or phone +31 (0)20 5516500.
Foam is sponsored by the BankGiroLoterij, De Brauw Blackstone
Westbroek, Delta Lloyd and the VandenEnde Foundation.
1017 DS Amsterdam
+ 31 20 5516500