Fotograf Magazine

Manja Ebert, Paula Gehrmann, Jens Klein, Lebohang Kganye, Clarissa Thieme

What Remains Gallery - Re*creation

Many people associate the term “recreation” with leisure time: going on holiday, lounging, hiking or browsing the latest issue of Fotograf magazine. Of all the works presented at the Re*creation exhibition, however, the holiday theme has been explicitly dealt with only in the film directed by Israeli Roman, who used found records of a summer journey of a 1970s young couple to create an intimate story, and in the short video by Kateřina Držková, that uses playful absurdity to dismiss the expectations associated with crossing the border in Eastern bloc countries.

The more general concept of recreation as relaxation, mainly in sleep, appears in several other works: while Jens Klein exhibits found photographs of sleeping Germans from 1932–1992, Manji Ebert and Steffen Köhn deal with sleep and intimate relaxation in connection with live Internet streams.

The third, the least intuitive concept of recreation as appropriation, is essential for most exhibited works, including re-created found photographs, videos, footage from Yugoslavian films, and Instagram posts by Ai Weiwei. Thus, the exhibition curators present not only the usual concept of recreation as “being busy with leisure”, when we are entitled to rest from work, but also the emancipatory potential of recreation as a moment of active transformation of the existing forms and standards.

Markéta Jonášová