This group exhibition at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, titled Selftimer Stories, shows works from the Federal Austrian photography collection – situated in the Museum der Moderne Salzburg – in interplay with international positions from the field of extended photography.
The leitmotif of this exhibition is the creation of a self-portrait via self-timer. This practice, popular both in everyday life and in art, reciprocates with technical developments and shows itself in the release cables appearing in the compositions, the digital remote-control release, or the extended hand. In the moment of the camera’s clicking (which is even artificially reproduced in digital photography) the “I as autotimer” becomes prevalent and thus marks the relationship of subject and world, which has always been inseparably linked with the media.
The choice of the medium for publishing self-portraits – mere photography, slide show, or as a book – makes the private matter shown therein public. In contemporary social media intimate and personal matters, which people wish to present and put on display, ultimately are only staged and performed for the camera. The publication of the private, also in autobiographies, harbors a moment of fictionalization.
Therefore, the exhibition demonstrates how discourses on identity and photography in de-fixation mode, which do not necessarily focus on the subjects but rather the relationship between image and gaze, can be used as an emancipatory artistic tool to intervene in visual politics.
The exhibition will be presented in an adapted version at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria, in November 2014.
[Image: Michaela Moscouw, Kenwood, 2000, Courtesy Austrian Federal Collection]