A collection of vernacular photographs exposes those without a caption, those, who more than anything else, served their purpose well among the people: they represented companies or informed potential customers about a product, or else served as a reminder of the good and bad times. All these photographic mediators somehow found their way to marketplaces, into cellars and, in one way or another, into our hands. Then they stood still for some time, forgetting about their mediating function, and began to build collections of curiosities. Now we would like to revive their function again, whilst not completely eradicating their old one at the same time. If we are talking about transcribing memory, then this transcription should be very superficial, unscrupulous, leaving a sufficient degree of dust and clues on the surface for the photograph to lose itself between the new and old context. An advertisement is an advertisement, and at th artefact. In the aporia between a useful product and a collection object, some sort of photographic form should be detected therefore, to which no specific value can be attributed – not social, economic, commercial, artistic, familial or technical. All these values are extremely boring, and to top it all off, they bypass photography and reduce it to the level of a photocopier’s. The ontology of reproduction, this is therefore the subject of our interest – the essence of which is primarily a bet that what is beyond function is something extremely valuable, worthy of all of our time and study – the hope that there is a core, which is at the same time always only a product of this hope and the ambitions of these kinds of exhibitions. We are therefore trying to force all anti-photographic values to waiver, to make a lapse or error, and to blush in their banality. So what should remain? Nothing – perhaps a fundamental dilemma that will weigh the surface of the image and its use to such an extent that it will not be clear what is the essence and what is merely appearance.
Exhibition curators: Peter Koštrun, Peter Rauch