NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

Photography as a material process had quite a short life. One could mark the endpoints of its historical moment as ranging from the toxic mercury fumes of the Daguerrotype to the computer-generated quicksilver of the shape-shifting android assassin T-1000 in the film Terminator 2.

Now the field of photography has itself become mercury-like. Liquid, protean, mutable, and fast flowing. Magically reflective, moving at the slightest touch. It has been detached from its roots and freed from its baggage of accountability and physicality. Digital photography is more data-collecting than picture making. Most of our snapshots will never be looked at, even once, not even by ourselves. They are hardly pictures, only sleeping data, existing and not existing at once. Today when we photograph, we mostly use our phone – a device named for its capacity to transmit audio signals. Perhaps the photographic imagery we produce now is closer to spoken language than it is to analogue photography?

In recent exhibitions and texts, the artist Simon Dybbroe Møller has argued that photography as such has ceased to exist and is now solely a reference point. An already ancient technique, an abstract term that we apply to stuff, a thing that we carry around with us and relate everything to. A visual essay comprised of artworks alongside arcane artifacts, Mercury discusses images and objects and routines that are not photography but are photography-like. It considers how we look at the world around us, and how we perceive history and our material world through the lens of technological development. And specifically, how already obsolete or moribund technologies colour our relationship to now.

Gallery name: Tallinn Art Hall

Address: Vabaduse väljak 8, Tallinn

Opening hours: Wed-Sun 11:00 - 18:00

Open: 14.09.2019 - 17.11.2019