this issue contains
>> Armin Linke
>> Anish Kapoor

>> archive

 


Armin Linke, Thongil Street, Pyongyang, North Korea,
Courtesy Klosterfelde, Berlin, © Armin Linke


Firstly, he selects the location of a photograph only after completing exacting research, which he carries out prior to all his trips and projects. It's a result of this detailed preparation that he finds the special perspective in which reality tips over into the unreal and the photographic aesthetic into photographic criticism. The viewer feels anything but comfortable when Armin Linke shows Pyongyang as the very model city that it strives to be. The way in which his photographic aesthetic shrinks the scenery of Thongil Street into an architectural model makes it quite clear that it's not the needs of the inhabitants that have dictated the city's planning, but an anachronistic image of the modern metropolis that has long since become a cliché.



Armin Linke, Oscar Niemeyer, Ministry of Defence, Brasilia Brazil,
Courtesy Klosterfelde, Berlin, © Armin Linke


At the same time, Armin Linke places his images in the context of the archive. He not only publishes the single, magnificent image of the empty street steps in Genoa roped off by police cordons, but places it in a larger sequence of photographs of the G-8 summit, which shows police and demonstrators surrounded by various media camera teams until things finally culminate in a violent clash. And then it becomes clear that these images of Genoa are not mere melancholy views of a city.



Armin Linke, G8 Summit, Genova, Italy, 2001
Courtesy Klosterfelde, Berlin, © Armin Linke


The summit took place; Carlo Giuliani was shot dead by the police. In terms of philosophy, events such as these only possess a truth as facts, which, in contrast with the truth of reason, cannot be proven by logic alone. They can, however, be reconstructed through film sequences and photographs – through the archive, as Jacques Derrida says. For which reason the philosopher, in his book Mal d'Archive, transfers the opposites truth and lie into that of archive and lie.



Armin Linke, G8 Summit, Genova, Italy, 2001
Courtesy Klosterfelde, Berlin, © Armin Linke


Armin Linke's photographs seem to elaborate, differentiate, and comment upon this thesis. His interest in the archive is mainly in how it is put to use. One of its primary functions lies in securing and comparing sources. Beyond this, however, in Linke's installations the archive also functions as a laboratory in which he once again subjects his images to his own quality test, after which he turns each image over to the viewer for further testing.


Armin Linke, The Holy Shrine of Imam Khomeini Tehran Iran
Courtesy Klosterfelde, Berlin, © Armin Linke

This test can aim at finding truth, or also at aesthetic pleasure or distraction, and, it shouldn't be denied, at an uncontrolled and intoxicating consumerism entirely lacking in criteria. While the chronicle of the G-8 summit is perhaps reconstructed in this test, other viewers are satisfied with a melancholic city view. Even the large-scale color print of the artificial blue sky that stretches far and wide over the ski slope is experimental material, although the print has clearly codified the photograph as art, thanks to Gursky, Struth, and other Becher students. Armin Linke's investigation of photography's conditions of production, distribution, and reception demonstrates that Derrida's idea of the archive as an antipode of the lie only carries weight when one seeks more in it than just factual truth—namely beauty, pleasure, or consumption.


Armin Linke, Grand Dixance dam Sion Switzerland
Courtesy Klosterfelde, Berlin, © Armin Linke

[1] [2]