Vartan Avakian, Suspended Silver: Dispersion 024, 2015/2022, Courtesy the artist
Esther Ruelfs and Vartan Avakian in Conversation.
Moderated by Cale Garrido.
Location: MK&G Freiraum
The exhibition "Mining Photography: The Ecological Footprint of Image Production" (15.7.22–31.10.22) explores a material history of photography. A key starting point for the exhibition is how the visual construction of memory depends on a series of processes involving rare earths and metals such as salt, silver, or cobalt. In this conversation, exhibition co-curator Esther Ruelfs and artist Vartan Avakian discuss how the traces of these processes inform their respective practices. They consider what the remains of photography—whether dust or its waste—tell us about cultural traditions of collecting, archiving, and remembering.
Esther Ruelfs is the Head of the Photography and New Media Department at MK&G. She studied art history and philosophy. Ruelfs is interested in the connections between historical and cultural contexts and contemporary issues of social relevance. She is co-curator of the exhibition "Mining Photography: The Ecological Footprint of Image Production".
Artist Vartan Avakian works with video, photography, and sculpture. He studied Communication Arts at the Lebanese American University and Architecture and Urban Culture at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona. Avakian is a board member of the Arab Image Foundation. He is one of the exhibiting artists of "Currency: Photography Beyond Capture" at the Halle für aktuelle Kunst, Deichtorhallen Hamburg.