“It’s so easy it’s ridiculous. It’s so easy that I can’t even begin – I just don’t know where to start. After all, it’s just looking at things. We all do that. It’s simply a way of recording what you see – point the camera at it, and press a button. How hard is that?” — Paul Graham.
In ‘On Body and Soul’ selected artists explore new ways of engaging with others by questioning and experimenting with the medium. Combining different techniques and topics they talk about themselves and the others.
This exhibition tries to bring the view from the public to the private sphere. In this selection, the topics of each project are related to traumatic experiences, heartbreak, and loneliness, which are common symptoms of this unique period we are all experiencing. Each of them in a unique way is questioning the difference and equality in collaboration between the Other and the Author.
Elena Subash’s work explores the traditions of small provincial towns in an era of globalization. Doro Zinn talks to us about social isolation and integration problems. Through the demystification of sex work in her native country Ukraine, Ira Lupu is trying to provide a more nuanced portrait of her roots moving from general to particular. Tracy L Chandler reconstructs personal memories. Morten Christiansen explores the rift between the relation to his past and present self. Through a metaphysical approach, Nazar Furyk series examines the tension of everyday life of his hated and beloved suburbs. Maggie Shannon presents individuals’ labour stories in a very real way to show how difficult processes make all of us honest with our bodies. Lisa Pram attempts to connect with the pure tools and construction of us, as a family. Valeria Arendar portrays the distress of fearing for one’s life and safety, driven by her mother’s recollections and collective memories. Felix Schöppner conditioned himself by using terms from the fields of physics and astronomy and presenting them in simplified models.
The show, it is also questioning the necessity to use technologies to be up to date. But if on one hand, it might seem enough to communicate with individuals and document them, on the other, practitioners have to respond to technological progress. In addition, we may also ask ourselves: is the use of technology in storytelling just fiction or an essential part of it? Each author answers in their own way.
Miriam Levi reconsiders the value of AI in shaping human creativity in a book where images and text are both results of a collaboration between humans and machines. In his multidisciplinary project, Daniel Mayrit uses photographic images and digital manipulations aiming to analyze, question, and highlight the artificiality of the visual tactics used by populist movements in their communicative and visual strategy. Sam De Buysere conveys through speculative fiction the repetitive character of dystopian patterns during fast-forward historical processes. Paula Gortázar is making a reconstruction that combines reproductions from the secret police archive with contemporary photographs, so her fictional archive aims to draw attention to new forms of online surveillance and widespread tolerance of social media users with such practices.
There is an urge to seek contextual awareness and how to read and understand visual storytelling. A longing where various visual solutions can introduce a conversation between the medium, photographers, and society. With these premises, The Bird in Flight Prize team and PhMuseum selected 14 projects from all the submissions of the 2021 Bird in Flight Prize and with this collective show, are now inviting the public to activate this conversation.