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Joachim Schmid / Photoworks 1982–2007

2008-02-03 to 2008-04-27

Berlin based artist Joachim Schmid does not photograph himself. Nevertheless, few people have seen as many photographs as he has, and few have delved into the culture, experience and expression of the photographic image with such meticulousness and insight as he has. Bildmuseet’s Joachim Schmid exhibition is a comprehensive and multi-facetted exploration into our peculiar life with photographs.

The exhibition Joachim Schmid / Photoworks 1982–2007 is a comprehensive presentation of Schimd’s work, covering three decade’s of production. With the motto, “No new photographs until the old ones have been used up”, Schmid has established a new genre – Found Photography. Schmid collects photographs, other people’s photographs. The raw material for his work is photographs that he has bought at flea markets and second hand shops, downloaded from the internet, cut out of publications, found on streets and squares on his journeys across the world, retrieved from archives, image collections and photo albums which he has received in response to his adverts where he explains that he will take care of and re-use discarded photographs. In this manner, Schmid has amassed thousands of photographs. The life-blood and method of his artistic work is this particular recycling of photographic images, in which Schmid organises and re-organises, compiles, orders, structures and categorises found photographs.

The result is extensive works that examine and analyse the world of photography, from many conceptual angles. For example, the massive work “Archive” comprises over 800 panels, each of which put the spotlight on a particular motif, theme or way of photographing. “Pictures from the Street”, a work-in-progress begun in 1982, is exactly what the title says: photos found on the streets, often torn, dirty, faded, or trampled on. These two opposites of the culture of photography are present in most of Schmid’s works – the transitoriness, illustrated by the abandoned photographs, and the excess of photographs as part of the consumer lifestyle.

Joachim Schmid / Photoworks 1982–2007 is curated by John Weber and produced by The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, USA. In conjunction with the exhibition, a major monograph on Joachim Schmid's work will be published. The exhibition at Bildmuseet is the first Scandinavian presentation of Joachim Schmid’s work.

The exhibition and the publication, Joachim Schmid / Photoworks 1982–2007, are generously funded by a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.