Spanning a dialogue between contemporary positions and those of the nineteenth century, the exhibition Back to the Future displays what the photographic medium was, what it is, and what it will be in the near future.
Ferns I, Working collage, before 1928 © Karl Blossfeldt Archiv / Stiftung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Pinakothek der Moderne, München
The current position of photography has much in common with the early years of the medium, when experiments with new photographic techniques were carried out on a grand scale. In a spirit of openness, excitement, freedom, curiosity and non-conformity, the nineteenth century pioneers of photography experimented with the technological and visual potential of the medium. They tested various methods and processes, but these were far from fully developed. Innovators with different backgrounds and from a variety of disciplines were looking for the best ways to capture the world. Taking pleasure in the making of images, and with a similar drive for experimentation, these early photographers shared a common mentality with many artists today.
The contemporary artists selected for the exhibition Back to the Future all use the foundations of photography: light, darkroom and chemistry, but in a non-traditional way. Each artist honours the history of the medium of photography by experimentally re-inventing it. The image is considered a material object with its own texture regardless of whether it is an analogue or digital object.
This exhibition is an initiative of Foam in collaboration with C/O Berlin, Germany.
Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, City of Amsterdam, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.
Participating artists: Sylvia Ballhause (DE), Karl Blossfeldt (DE), Bownik (PL), Matthew Brandt (US), Sam Falls (US), Jenő Gothard (HU), Spiros Hadjidjanos (GR), Thomas Hauser (FR), Nicolai Howalt (DK), Adam Jeppesen (DK), Thomas Mailaender (FR), Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs (CH), Johan Österholm (SE), Jaya Pelupessy & Felix van Dam (NL), Antal Pribék (HU), Stephen Thompson (GB), Simon van Til (NL), Ferenc Veress (HU) and various anonymous artists.
Loans for this exhibition are from ELTE Gothard Astrophysical Observatory (HU), Foam (NL), The Archive of Modern Conﬂict (UK), Medical Museion / University of Copenhagen (DK), The New Carlsberg Foundation (DK), Dick Meijer Antiquities (NL), Hungarian Museum of Photography (HU), Un_Spaced (FR), Galerie Eva Presenhuber (CH), Martin Asbæk Gallery (DK), Yossi Milo Gallery (US), LVMH Métiers d’ Art Collection (FR), NBA (DE), Die Photographische Sammlung/ SK Stiftung Kultur (DE), Ravestijn Gallery (NL), Episcopal Library of Székesfehérvár (HU) and from the artists. We are grateful to all of them.