The exhibition brings together eight long-term photography commissions carried out in Europe between 1984 and 2019
It shows the work of nearly 60 photographers in 7 countries
Its aim is to capture the transformations the European landscape has undergone as a result of economic-social changes and to contribute to the debate on the changing landscape
The Museo ICO presents the exhibition Framed Landscapes: European Photography Commissions 1984-2019, curated by Frits Gierstberg and organised by the Fundación ICO in collaboration with the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Brandenburgisches Landesmuseum für moderne Kunst Cottbus und Frankfurt, Brandts-Museum of Art & Visual Culture, Centre régional de la photographie Hauts-de-France, Linea di Confine per la Fotografia Contemporanea and Zurich University of the Arts / Institute for Contemporary Art Research. The exhibition is a part of the programme for PHotoESPAÑA 2019.
The exhibition and the book that goes along with it bring together eight long-term photography projects carried out in Europe between 1984 and 2019. These projects were promoted by public or semipublic institutions from various European countries, regions and cities, and relied on the participation of a few dozen photographers.
Although each photographer had a different approach to these projects, they all share a common thread: a reflection upon the transformation of the landscape. When photographers have free rein, they can interpret the landscape as they wish. However, the approaches can also be very well-defined and instrumental. They may provide a visual investigation on how the notions of national and regional identity are reflected in the landscape, or they may run a check on reality to question what the landscape is really like in situ or how the people who live and work in a landscape experience, see and use that landscape in their day-to-day lives.
“Landscape is culture. It is the expression of a living community and of the trace a community leaves behind when it brings itself into existence. Or, if we take the words of the influential American landscapist John Brinckerhoff Jackson, “landscape is history made visible”, explains Frits Gierstberg, exhibition curator.
The major transformations of the European landscape in the seventies and the eighties were largely due to the decline of heavy industry and the closing down of mines. Furthermore, the rapid growth of the service and mass tourism economy and the increase in overall mobility required significant adaptations of the landscape. Technological innovations changed traditional agriculture and, in the process, also changed the landscape, which started to accommodate other crops and on a much larger scale.
The gradual decline of traditional agriculture resulted in a migratory flow towards large cities. However, at the same time city centres were being vacated and peripheral neighbourhoods were springing up. In many major cities, the result was exponential growth of the outskirts.
The French project led by the DATAR in the eighties was a major source of inspiration for many promoters of photography work in landscape. Its impact was a result of the ambitions and magnitude of the project as well as the line-up of photographers selected to participate in it. DATAR was a public organisation dedicated to coordinating regional planning that led a special initiative to photograph France’s 1980s landscape. This photography project was a response to the awareness, among other things, of the drastic consequences that future changes to the French landscape would have on a large number of people.
The exhibition shows the works of nearly sixty photographers as well as the publications that were produced within the context of the selected projects: Mission photographique de la DATAR (France), Mission photographique Transmanche (France), Linea di Confine per la Fotografia Contemporanea (Italy), Ekodok-90 (Sweden), Fotografie und Gedächtnis
[Photography and Memory] (Germany), Long-Term Photographic Observation of Schlieren (Switzerland), RO_Archive (Romania) and Places. Denmark in Transition (Denmark).
Lewis Baltz, Olivo Barbieri, Gabriele Basilico, Bogdan Andrei Bordeianu, Michele Bressan, Marilyn Bridges, Christina Capetillo, Valentin Cernat, Krass Clement, John Davies, Tim Davis, Paola De Pietri, Raymond Depardon, Claude Dityvon, Robert Doisneau, Tom Drahos, Jean-Louis Garnell, Peter Gerdehag, Dani Gherca, Albert Giordan, Bogdan Gîrbovan, Ulrich Görlich, John Gossage, William Guerrieri, Guido Guidi, Rudolf Hartmetz, Ralph Hinterkeuser, Nicolai Howalt, Gerry Johansson, Michel Kempf, Iosif Király, Janne Klerk, Josef Koudelka, Monika Lawrenz, Philippe Lesage, Carl-Johan Malmberg, Andrei Mateescu, Elmar Mauch, Vlad Mihailescu, Francesco Neri, Walter Niedermayr, Raluca Paraschiv (Ionescu), Bernard Plossu, Bas Princen, Jürgen Rehrmann, Joachim Richau, Sophie Ristelhueber, Henrik Saxgren, Christian Schwager, Stephen Shore, Larisa Sitar, Gunnar Smoliansky, Trine Søndergaard, Meret Wandeler, John S. Webb, Thomas Wolf.
Frits Gierstberg (Haarlem, The Netherlands, 1959) studied art history in Leiden University and specialised in contemporary art, cinema and photography. He was Extraordinary Professor of Photography at the Erasmus University Rotterdam from 2006 to 2010, where he taught theory of documentary photography in the Media and Journalism Department.
Currently, he is a visiting tutor at the Piet Zwart Institute and curator at the Nederlands Fotomuseum, both in Rotterdam. He is the co-author of the The Dutch Photobook (Aperture), among other publications. In 2013, he was guest curator of the 13th Gjon Mili Exhibition at the Kosova National Art Gallery in Pristina and in 2015 at BOZAR, Brussels, where he curated the exhibition 'FACES. European Portrait Photography after 1990'.
The Museo ICO
The Museo ICO opened its doors on 28 March 1996. At first it was dedicated to exhibiting the collections of the Instituto de Crédito Oficial, run by the Fundación ICO. Since 2012, the Fundación ICO has designed a new exhibition strategy for the Museo ICO focused on architecture and urban planning in three main areas:
• The role architecture plays in the major issues and challenges of today’s society.
• Architecture and urban planning from a photography perspective.
• The major figures, schools and movements of contemporary architecture.
The Museo ICO is the only museum in Spain dedicated exclusively to architecture. It organises three yearly exhibitions focused on this discipline.
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