“What do Elizabeth Taylor, a bicycle seat, Carlos the Jackal, a lobster, Silvio Berlusconi and a toilet brush have in common? Nothing, except that their photographs all ended up in my archive of scanned printed matter gathered from around the world over four decades. Removed from their original news contexts and presented without any comment, this apparently random and unrelated series of images turns out to be a miscellaneous reflection of popular obsessions, fears and fantasies.”
“No new photographs until the old ones have been used up.” This apodictic statement, which Joachim Schmid uttered back in 1989 in relation to the 150th anniversary of photography, reflects his artistic credo. The distinctive feature of his creativity does not affect the production of photographs but searching, selecting and composing them.
Schmid acts in a similar way to a curator by using already existing pictures and arranging them in new contexts to create original images. The new environment opens up fresh and ingenious angles of viewing for already existing, common and familiar pictures.
In his early works he employed, for example, torn photographs, discarded postcards and negatives he’d found in various places. After publishing an advertisement in a newspaper mentioning the creation of the First General Collection of Used Photographs in 1990, people sent thousands of unwanted photographs to him instead of tossing them away.
Today, Schmid uses digital screenshots he discovers in search engines or websites on the internet. One essential topic is the critical examination of the traditional role of photography and how it tries to collect individual and collective memories. Additionally, he observes and analyses visually the consequences of digital image archives, as well as the impact on photography today as an essential tool for digital social networking and visual abundance.
Berlin-based artist Joachim Schmid studied Visual Communication at Fachhochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd and Hochschule der Künste Berlin. His works have been exhibited in, among other places, the Australian Centre for Photography Sydney, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Photographers’ Gallery London, the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, Foam (Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam), Centre National de la Photographie Paris, Gropius-Bau Berlin, Berlinische Galerie Berlin, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Museo de arte contemporánea in Vigo and Museum Folkwang.
Gallery name: Prospekto Gallery
Address: Gediminas av. 43, Vilnius
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 12:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00
Open: 08.05.2019 - 01.06.2019