In the Beginning Was Photography

5th until 20th of May 2024 – Atelierhaus Hansastraße Neuss


This exhibition focuses on the cultural practice of photography and its analogue materiality. The works on display represent an exploration of the way this medium is perceived as a form of reproduction, as evidence to be scrutinized, or even as a means of personally appropriating reality.


All examining the meaning of photography today in their works, the artists featured in this presentation are Eveline Kulik, Katharina Ley, and Annette Grotkamp, who each use cameraless photography in different ways; Sonja Irouschek, who collects photographs; Arno Schidlowski, an analogue landscape photographer; and Bärbel Möllmann, who offers a contemporary approach to the camera obscura.

While photography certainly was not the first artistic medium, the fact that it can be reproduced has made art historical research quicker and easier.
Did you know that the camera obscura technique, in which the outside world is projected into a long, darkened box using basic physical principles, was first documented in ancient times?
The fact that photography only started to flourish in the late 1820s was due to the chemical challenge of permanently capturing a projection on a photosensitive image carrier.

Sonja Irouschek, part of “Vor meiner Zeit”

Although photography is still a relatively young medium, it has changed enormously in recent decades due to digitalization as well as ever – evolving technologies and possibilities. By contrast, experimenting with analogue photography now offers greater opportunities than ever to return to the fundamentals of photography and to reflect upon the medium itself. The artists exhibited here consider the purpose and potential of photography today – and in doing so reveal more about its origins.

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