Artist: Rainer Ganahl
Venue: Kai Matsumiya, New York
Exhibition Title: Artists – Recent Photographs from My S/L Series
Date: September 12 – October 25, 2015
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of the artist and Kai Matsumiya, New York
Following Rainer Ganahl’s exhibition “El Mundo,” which inaugurated Kai Matsumiya in April 2014, Ganahl will now open the gallery’s fall season with recent photographs from his Seminar/Lecture (S/L) series. This series of photographs were captured by Ganahl during seminars, lectures, and announced talks, and were not subjected to formal photogenic refineries, such as stage lighting, digital editing, tripods, or forced photographic perspectives. Each set is comprised of 2, 4, 5 or 6 photographs, and is specific to each event, and titled after both the hosting institution with the date of the event (i.e. “S/L, Jens Hoffmann, Martha Rosler, Jens Hoffmann in conversation with Martha Rosler, Art Basel, Basel 6/18/2010”). Ganahl’s subjects were sourced solely out of personal interest, rather than with any systematic or strategic considerations, thus revealing Ganahl’s intellectual flânerie.
The images show the speakers and the audience in their given contexts, and index the talks through their titles, whilst also subtly revealing the economic and cultural privileges that are involved with access to these specific institutions and contexts, and the interests and understandings involved therein.
Ganahl began his S/L series in 1995, focusing primarily on influential academics, and inspired by one of Said’s courses, titled “The Representation of Intellectuals.” A few have since passed away, including Pierre Bourdieu, Edward Said, Eric Hobsbawm, and Susan Sontag, among others.
Whereas the photographs captured between 1995 and 2005 primarily included intellectuals, Ganahl’s recent interests have shifted a focus on artists and curators. Ganahl asks himself about the changing interests in the art world, from the general philosophical, cultural and political topics discussed in the 1990s, to questions concerning art production and its context itself,
“This trend also mirrors my renewed interest in arts education, with all of its implications, forms and consequences. This exhibition will display the individual positions of artists as both intellectuals and human beings. I am interested in how artists live in an increasingly complicated, fragmented and precarious world, and how they try to cope with it.”
For his second show, Ganahl has selected photographs of lectures and discussions by artist-friends, including Jutta Koether, Ken Okiishi, Yael Bartana, Martha Rosler, Stephen Prina, Willem de Roij, Jeff Wall, and by artists whom he admires, such as Werner Herzog.
The last significant presentation of the “Seminars/Lectures” series was shown at the Arsenale section at the Venice Biennale, 2007, curated by Robert Storr; Columbia University’s Wallach Gallery, and in Ganahl’s solo exhibition, titled “The Politics of Learning”, 2005.