MARKK Museum am Rothenbaum, Hamburg, Germany
20 May 2022 - 16 Oct 2022
The focus of Archive of Experiences at the MARKK is a photo album from 1868 linked to the city of Singapore and a Hamburg merchant family. The exhibition addresses the multivalent memories and contested meanings of such a once-private assemblage of images that is now part of the MARKK photography collection. The visual encounter of the subjects, the materiality, and the means of distribution together resonate with currency as the curatorial prompt of the 8th Triennial of Photography Hamburg.
The exhibition features visually compelling images depicting people, landscapes, and architecture related to Singapore and Southeast Asia from the first decades of photography. Premised on the notion of the museum as a place with potential to open up new frames of reference in which photographs can interrupt dominant narratives, the exhibition seeks to reclaim perceptions that have been formed through the consumption of photographs, specifically in scenarios in which photographs have been used as tools to register and fix identities, and to accumulate knowledge—and therefore power over others.
Photographs often appear to be records of past moments, events, and memories. With materials spanning different geopolitical regions and social backgrounds from all over the world, the photo archive becomes a fountain of intersecting histories. As an attempt to challenge these patterns of value formation and inscription, MARKK in Motion Artist in Residence Kelvin Haizel engages with the photo album to create corresponding artworks for the exhibition.
Kelvin Haizels work also engages with the trade routes from Hamburg to Southeast Asia in 1868 – a year before the opening of the Suez Canal – and the upheavals that accompanied it.
Curated by Martha Kazungu, Gabriel Schimmeroth.
The exhibition takes place as part of the 8th Triennial of Photography Hamburg 2022 under the title “Currency”, which runs from May 20 to September 18, 2022. The artistic director Koyo Kouoh and her international team as well as the curators of the ten participating museums and exhibition houses have designed a course that invites to question photography, its methods and traditions