Fotograf Magazine


image and time

Some philosophers warningly draw our attention to the compression of time – past, present and future – and the virtualization of the (photographic) image that goes along with it; an image which they understand as “expanding the optical scope” of the phenomena of the real world. This reading allows one to enter the field of the “politics of representation“ as practiced by the group G.R.A.M. By choosing for the basic strategy of their work the reconstruction of events, or visual representations done previously by other artists, the artists of G.R.A.M. bring into play a wide range of questions: those of authenticity, originality, shifts in time, reconstruction and documentation. All of this relates to what we might term appropriation (the process of adopting something anew), and yet we hesitate to use such a term. We are not dealing with an intentional and full reconstruction. The actual cast (for instance, the replacement of the male and female characters in the notorious Peter Weibel and Valie Export event) as well as a number of other less conspicuous interventions, transport the representation into another time, as well as another reading. An example of this is also a new work by the group – portraits of the presidents of Austria, Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic since the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. An inconspicuous insertion of the artist themselves in this sequence of presidents throws into doubt the informative value of the entire cycle. It lightens the dangerous charge implied by the title Vášniví pachatelé z přesvědčení (Passionate Perpetrators by Persuasion) since the artists take responsibility for a title which determines our approach and evaluation of the nature of political representation. The judgement has been articulated, but it has not been confirmed, and we are allowed space for our own interpretation.

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#6 The Recycle Image