Signal or Noise is the second part of the exhibition The Photographic which applies an extended concept of photography, from discipline to mentality. The first chapter, Other Pictures (2017-18), questioned the special potential of the still image. A perspective that with this exhibition is reversed: we turn the gaze inwards and explore the camera as a metaphor for human existence.
Photography is to a large extent produced by machines. The reading of an image thus also requires knowledge of the technological development of the discipline, especially because photography has gradually anchored itself in the social sphere. The more images and their environment merge, the more signal and noise become interchangeable. Readable, manipulated and hidden information are increasingly difficult to distinguish from one another, yet are of equal importance in our visual culture. The myth of photographic transparency seems to be irreversibly lost in a mass of pixels, bits and algorithms.
This exhibition presents an international selection of artists who recalibrate ‘the photographic’ as an artistic field of research and experiment. They play on the functions, processes and spaces of photography not with images but via more hybrid forms. From the virtual to the physical, from the technological to the ideological, from image to object to merchandise: the lack of defined identities underpins the questioning of photographic representation. The exhibition is above all a critical space, determined by the unique positions of the artists.