Cutting Straws at Midnight
APR 28 – JUN 10, 2017
JUN 1, 2017 @ 7 p.m.
Viktoria Binschtok in conversation with Silke Hohmann (editor at Monopol magazine)
"With Clusters, Viktoria Binschtok enters a terrain where conceptual ascription is no longer the decisive filter: here, a purely visual order has taken control of the images. If the entire world threatens to become an enormous pool of private and commercial stock photography, available at any time, Binschtok cuts her way through this universe and finds ways to respond to the oft-cited visual deluge that are not defensive or defeatist, but, in the truest sense of the term, stir up this flood of images with gusto." Florian Ebner*
What do images communicate without any indication of the source, location, or the motivation behind what has been captured in them? Viktoria Binschtok achieves just such a situation in Cutting Straws at Midnight, confronting us with a wild mix of decontextualized components that construct a reality all its own immanent to the image and leaving the rest to our cognitive abilities. Sometimes loudly, sometimes quietly, these visual clusters demonstrate their uncanny affinity based on the calculations of a machine and the incalculability of an artistic gesture.
The precisely re-staged photographs, which always refer to already existing images, refuse to be easily classified in standard genres by their artificial appearance — cuts, overlappings of several visual layers, and elements that go beyond visual borders take up our screen-based habits of vision and move them to an offline space. Still life or snapshot, professional or amateur photograph, private or public: all filters are turned off.
Networked visual information distracts us for a moment from our linear thinking in favor of a pleasurable engagement with a medium that for a long time now has not only been instrumentalized politically, but has become a yardstick for all of us in our culture of instant evaluation. It is the currency in the attention business, always rising in value, yet its subtext is an old one: it could all be this way, but it could also be entirely different.
"(…) This irreversible practice of permanent pointing/showing on-demand not only constructs a reality of its own: its circle of impact takes on global dimensions that we cannot extract ourselves from, just as we cannot escape the diversity of feelings that emerge: they fill us with fear, hate, and pleasure, but then double click, its gone, and we help ourselves at this never-ending buffet between banality and human tragedy in 72 dpi." Viktoria Binschtok, 2017
Viktoria Binschtok lives and works in Berlin. Her works have been presented both in numerous solo and group exhibitions, in recent years a.o. at Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; C/O Berlin; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy; Centre de la Photographie Genève, Switzerland; pier24, San Francisco, USA; Museum Folkwang, Essen; Centre Pompidou, Metz, France; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt am Main; Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg; Georgian National Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia, The Krasnoyarsk Museum Center, Siberia; Kunstverein Göttingen; Museum der Bildenden Künste Leipzig.
*excerpt from: with/against the flow. Zeitgenössische fotografische Interventionen #1 Viktoria Binschtok, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln, 2016