Opening: 28.04.2017, 19h

Portikus is pleased to present the exhibition Slide show with Sirah Foighel Brutmann and Eitan Efrat, Susanne Kriemann and Yutaka Sone. The exhibition unites three different positions and generations, focusing in each on a medium that may be historic, yet is unmistakable in its ability to develop narratives and negotiate themes. As the title of the exhibition suggests, the focus is on artistic works shown as slide projections or grappling with the presentation of single photographs, either in the form of slides or contact sheets.

Sirah Foighel Brutmann and Eitan Efrat have been collaborating for several years and create audio-visual works dealing with the performative and narrative aspects of the moving image. In Slide show, the two artists, who live and work in Brussels, present Printed Matter (2011), a video work shown as a rear projection and thus simulating a light box. The work explores the photographic archive of André Brutmann, Sirah Foighel Brutmann’s father, who worked as a foreign press photographer in Israel and Palestine. Brutmann’s photographs negotiate the daily news, for example about the Israel-Palestine conflict, the First and Second Intifada, but also everyday, political and social events that were photographed and published in magazines such as Spiegel in Germany and TIME in the United States.

During the approximately 30-minute video work, contact sheets are placed on a light box at irregular intervals, each sheet corresponding to a roll of film shot between 1982 and 2002. Each image is commented on or described by Brutmann’s life and work partner.

At the end of a working day, if the roll of film was not full, André Brutmann photographed his family. Alongside pictures of demonstrations and revolts, of political events as well as, say, fashion shows – the daily material of a press photographer – we encounter cheery family pictures and touching portraits. They capture Sirah Foighel Brutmann’s childhood, the birth of her brother, we see them play and get to know the whole family. The mood shares background information with us that only a witness of the times can possess. History is told here by pictures in the chronological order of the contact sheets.

Susanne Kriemann uses photography and its techniques and creates works and installations that analyze complex circumstances, document them, and repeatedly, critically question them. In 277569 (2012), Kriemann shows a series of aerial photographs she took during a flight along the historic route across the southern air corridor between West Berlin and West Germany. The title of the work refers to the number of flights undertaken by the Allies in 1948 and 1949 from West Germany to West Berlin, which went down in history as the Berlin Airlift. Shot in medium format, we see almost endless forests. Although charged with history, the images become coded abstractions, in which any subject reference is missing, the focus is blurred. From the aspect of air surveillance, we are faced with the complexity of this task and find ourselves in the position of the surveillant as we search for details that could provide an insight into localizing the images.

The Japanese artist Yutaka Sone, who lives and works in Los Angeles, is famous for his installations, sculptures and paintings today, which hover in the tense zone between reality and perfection. Travel 1987-1988 (1989) is a very different work. Shortly after completing his architectural studies at the end of the 1980s, Sone traveled through the Middle East for more than two years and photographed people, architecture and nature. The pictures become an inventory of a landscape that no longer exists in this form today. Torn by conflicts, many people lost their lives there in recent years, cities have been destroyed, nature has been redrawn. Yutaka Sone’s photos, reminiscent of classic travel documentaries, turn into an uncanny account of a world that is conveyed to us quite differently through today’s media and daily reports