Current

When Swiss Fotostiftung in Winterthur and the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne approached young American photographer Shane Lavalette to contribute work to a group show titled “Unfamiliar Familiarities. Outside Views on Switzerland” in 2016, Lavalette started to research in the Winterthur archives. He came across contact sheets of a reportage by Theo Frey.

Swiss photographer Theo Frey (1908-1997) was a photo journalist and a documentarist. For the 1939 Swiss National Exhibition he visited and systematically photographed in twelve Swiss villages, aiming to tell a story of Switzerland at that moment in time.

“Following the footsteps of Frey’s journey from nearly eighty years earlier, I now traveled to the same twelve villages in order to find new images that explore the fabric of Switzerland today”, explains Shane Lavalette, “guided by chance encounters and my own meditations on the past, present, and future.”

“Within the archive at the Fotostiftung Schweiz, I uncovered unexpected connections between my own images and Frey’s, and was at once confronted with the weight of history. I considered the ways in which Frey’s photographs have different implications now than the day that they were made, and how the meaning of my own images will undoubtedly transform with age as well. Photographs, I realized, are much like mountains. Though we think of images as fixed and still, what we see in them is always shifting, however slowly, with time.”

Shane Lavalette (*1987) is an American photographer, an independent publisher and editor, and the director of Light Work, a nonprofit photography organization based in Syracuse, New York. He holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. In 2016, he published his monograph “One Sun, One Shadow”, exploring the American South, inspired by its rich musical tradition. The book to the series “Still (Noon)” was published in 2018 by Zurich based Edition Patrick Frey.

Upcoming

In the early 1970s, Californian photographer John Divola was one of the first to question the limits of his medium, exploring concepts of sculpture, installation, performance and intervention in his iconic, formative series Vandalism (1973-1975). Robert Morat Gallery is thrilled to be able to show this important body of work in Berlin.

Between 1973 and 1975, the American photographer John Divola – then in his mid twenties and without a studio of his own – travelled across Los Angeles in search of dilapidated properties in which to make photographs. Armed with a camera, spray paint, string and cardboard, the artist would produce one of his most significant photographic projects entitled Vandalism. In this visceral, black and white series of images Divola vandalised vacant homes with abstract constellations of graffiti-like marks, ritualistic configurations of string hooked to pins, and torn arrangements of card, before cataloguing the results. The project vigorously merged the documentary approach with staged interventions echoing performance, sculpture and installation art. Serving as a conceptual sabotaging of the delineations between such documentary and artistic practices, at a time when the ‘truthfulness’ of photography was being called into question, Vandalism helped to establish Divola’s highly distinctive photographic language.

John Divola (American, b. 1949), one of the most distiguished visual artists of his generation, earned a BA from California State University, Northridge (1971) and an MA from University of California, Los Angeles (1973). His images challenge the boundaries between fiction and reality, as well as the limitations of art to describe life. Vandalism (1974-1975) is one of Divola’s earliest series, predating Zuma (1979), As Far as I Could Get (1997) and Dogs Chasing My Car in the Desert (2004). His work exhibited internationally and found in important public collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Getty Museum in LA, the V&A in London or the Whitney Museum in New York.

Vandalism, the book accompanying the exhibition, was published by MACK Books, London in 2018.

Robert Voit The Alphabet of New Plants

Archive Berlin 2016 - 2010

Orri Interiors
jedentag Fotografische Alltagsbeobachtungen von Andy Sewell, Peter Puklus und Peter de Ru
SCHWARZWEISS Zeitgenössische Positionen in der Schwarz-Weiß-Fotografie
2007
Okko Oinonen On Top of The Iceberg. Intellectual Exiles
fotoform Deutsche Fotografie der 50er Jahre
Enver Hirsch Menschen Tiere Sensationen
2006
Andy Scholz Fotografie 2002-2006
Wolf Böwig Fotoarbeiten 1995-2005
2004
Michael Melcer Milch and Hering Jewish Food Shops in New York

Archive Hamburg 2016 - 2004

Past