Photo: © Sam Contis
The 2nd Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie will be curated by English writer and curator David Campany,
David Campany: “I am thrilled to be the curator of the Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie 2020. I have conceived exhibitions and written for around fifteen years, focused mainly on photography but exploring its relation to the moving image, painting, drawing and sculpture. Many of my exhibitions make links between contemporary and historical practices, looking for continuities and differences.
Linking six institutions, new commissions and a wide-ranging public programme, the Biennale will explore the often-paradoxical feelings we have about the medium of photography, which has come to symbolize the extremes of contemporary society. Personal, and public. Freeing, and limiting. Expressive, and yet dominant. We have real affection for photography, and it is a source of deep fascination, but at the same time we are suspicious of its power and its manipulations. If we are dependent upon photographic images, this dependence gives us mixed feelings. If we were to teach young children about photography – which we really should – we would teach them to appreciate it and enjoy it, but also to be aware of its tricks, untruths and distractions. There is a politics to the reconsidering of images, but great pleasure too. Across three cities, the Biennale will introduce artistic practices that help us to think about how this tension in photography is really a tension within ourselves.”
David Campany (1967, London) lives and works in London as a writer, curator, artist and lecturer in photography. Most recently, he curated the exhibition The Still Point of the Turning World: Between Film and Photography at the FOMU Antwerp. His publications include So Present, So Invisible – Conversations with Photographers (Contrasto, 2018), Walker Evans (Aperture Masters of Photography Series, Aperture, 2015), A Handful of Dust (MACK / Le Bal 2015) and essays for museums and magazines such as MoMA New York, the Tate, the Centre Pompidou, Stedelijk Museum, the Jeu de Paume, Frieze, Aperture, and Source. Among Campany’s awards as a writer are the ICP Infinity Award and the German Photobook Prize.