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Work by Alfred Seiland Auf der Paßhöhe: Grimselpaß, Schweiz

Traces of light. Photography from the Collection

18 April to 30 November 2008

"Is photography art? This question shouldn't be asked. Art is obsolete. We need something else. You have to watch light at work. It is light that creates. I sit before a piece of light-sensitive paper and think."
(Man Ray, 1928)

Photographs are traces of light and time events captured on paper. Photography is light-writing, capable of recording the history of humanity. It emerged in the age of the discovery of history and is itself - according to the pioneers of photography – an ideal historian.

"In this way the sun becomes the historian of the future, due to the exactness of its pen as well as its precision in recording the truth itself; then history will cease to appear fabulous."
(David Brewster, 1856)

Is contemporary photography paradoxically conducting a conscious return to the fabulous? Contemporary photographers demarcate the narrative and technically feasible boundaries of the medium. Yet a question remains: When does photography tend towards a fictional description and when towards a critical assessment of socio-political phenomena?

The exhibition shows a thematically oriented cross-section of the Lentos Photo Collection, which currently comprises about 1,100 works.

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Photo: © maschekS.