Please note: Exhibition extended up to December 19, 2015
The first solo show in Italy by the German artist Joachim Schmid (Balingen, 1955) is on view at P420 Gallery until November 14, 2015.
Active on the German scene since 1980 as a photography critic, essayist and publisher, in 1982 Schmid founded Fotokritik, a completely self-produced magazine that immediately became a vehicle for the expression of his theories. During the same period he began to collect photographs found in the street, purchased at flea markets or obtained from anyone who wanted to dispose of photographs in their possession.
An obsession with photography, not with individual brilliance or museum masterpieces but with the very nature of the medium, with everything that is “left out” and therefore is not, and does not aspire to be, “art photography.” Schmid searches for the deepest identity of photography, manifested when millions of cameras produce billions of images.
A systematic collection of photographs, without scientific or taxonomical ends, but with the simple intention of revealing the enormous potential embodied in photographs not produced in an art context. This activity has led to two of his most extensive projects, Bilder von der Strasse (developed over a period of thirty years and including photographs gathered in public places from 1982 to 2012), and Archiv (a monumental tribute to photography, catalogued by species, from 1986 to 1999).
For over thirty years, Schmid’s research has ironically short-circuited the recognized canons of photography, widening its boundaries, skeptically questioning the role of the author and artistic intention with respect to the results achieved.
The exhibition, entitled Souvenirs, presents a selection of works – from the past and made for the occasion – that share the theme of travel, the trips made by the artist himself for more than thirty years, which in this context become the fundamental opportunity for a representation of photography that is as general as possible.
Joachim Schmid was previously featured on Fantom Issue 04, Summer 2010. Read it here