In January 2006 Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber invited photographers, artists and friends to participate in the Project Fotoblog Naniwa. I found such an invitation in my mailbox. The rules of the game were quite simple. Each photographic contribution was to be delivered without any text or commentary. Furthermore each photo should refer to the previous one. A picture format of about 10 by 15 cm and 300 dpi resolution was required. When I had successfully had passed the proceedings of the registration, about a week after I had received the invitation, I was more than surprised. 54 photos had already been loaded onto the server in these few days. After that I put quite a heavy strain on my computer mouse, in the attempt of trying to understand what was happening here. How does a fotoblog define itself which is only dedicated to a visual chain of association, without ...
In January 2006 Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber invited photographers, artists and friends to participate in the Project Fotoblog Naniwa. I found such an invitation in my mailbox. The rules of the game were quite simple. Each photographic contribution was to be delivered without any text or commentary. Furthermore each photo should refer to the previous one. A picture format of about 10 by 15 cm and 300 dpi resolution was required. When I had successfully had passed the proceedings of the registration, about a week after I had received the invitation, I was more than surprised. 54 photos had already been loaded onto the server in these few days. After that I put quite a heavy strain on my computer mouse, in the attempt of trying to understand what was happening here. How does a fotoblog define itself which is only dedicated to a visual chain of association, without becoming a commentating magazine or network? A fireworks of small thematic ideas, mental leaps, precision landings, snapshots, travelogues, work samples, and archive giants followed one another, with no guiding line except that of constant change, barely touching hands with its predecessor.
Was this some kind of competition? Sometimes I caught myself worrying. Again I had been too late. An hour ago, online, the picture before the last would have been the perfect pass for one or the other of my photos. And yet, the almost euphoric participation, right from the start, and the photographic lust for adventure rather sprung from the promise to illustrate and in turn to watch over and over again. a photo album, a never ending exhibition indeed, well, almost, at least in a yet unknown quantity. There were photos that wanted to get into dialogue with their predecessors, rationally, maybe only superficially. Some of the contributions seemed to shout “Yes, indeed, I can elaborate on that!” Or, in a laconic way: “Look here, my point of view is much more radical.” In other places formal or technical aspects of pictures were discussed. Other photos cheekily snatched the topic from the previous one and jumped to the next idea, using what seemed not important. For those I was extremely grateful sometimes: discovering what you missed in the first picture only by looking at the following one.
Serious stuff met provocation, fashionable stuff met introversion,half baked stuff met excerpts of severely formulated series. And yet, in this open test model, following its own association, one could sense moods and mood swings over the months that followed. Like changing climates new bloggers arrived with new topics, became euphoric posters of many entries, brought older topics with them, which had been suggested or re-interpreted differently weeks ago, and then disappeared for a while or for good.
Despite all the fluctuations and trends one thing remained the same: the claim of all participants to publish photographic positions of high artistic quality on a daily basis on the internet. This ambition and at such a frequency is seldom to found within this medium. After one year Project Naniwa had also become a global dialogue on photography. All in all 70 photographers took part, from Japan, Canada, Germany, South America, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Turkey. The results: 1540 photos, 200 MB of data, a Romanian continuing blog (fotofangen.blogspot.com/) as well as this documentation of all pictures in blog-typical order ranging from the most recent entry back to the first one.
Axel Ganz ..................................................
Around Toronto with Frau Böhm Since 1999, Katja and Oliver Sieber have been distributing their magazine project containing their own photo-graphy. The Böhm is the mediator which correlates the fascinating work of both artists through their relationship. In 2005 the artistic-duo was selected as one of five of the first world-wide Goethe-Institut artists-in-residences to spend time in Toronto. This was perfect timing since the Goethe-Institut, along with the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, had organized a symposium on International Residencies in Toronto, introducing the idea of an international residency program in the city with leading partners. The allocation of the Goethe-Institut stipend serves as a trendsetting pilot project for this international, rising arts scene in Canada’s cultural capital. In November, Frau Böhm established themselves in the hip Queen Street West neighbourhood and found new perspective for their own work. They presented their work to an enthusiastic crowd at the Goethe-Institut. Artistic production, countless encounters with artists and galleries resulted in the creation of an edition of their magazine at the alternative art fair TAAFI.
Extraterrestrials in the living room, fantasy costumes, photos of the backs of heads, or how to draw a bunny.
Oliver Sieber tracks down Cosplayer, a trend, which, throughout the 90s and during the manga and animation
boom in Japan, made its way to Europe and North America. The goal of Cosplayers is to present their favourite character faithfully in costume and behaviour. Through chatrooms, Sieber dove into this scene, which documents the special subculture of Canada’s multicultural mosaic.
This work is juxtaposed with Katja Stuke’s art on the topic of alienation. From the question “what is a homeland” comes the series “Portraits from the Back of the Head”,
a row of backs of heads, which establishes ideas of the “usual” and the “intimate”. Multiple identities, transgression as role play and cultural strategies in urban spaces illuminate the thematic aesthetic of Stuke/Sieber.
Both artists, in the context of a residency in Osaka, broadened their spectrum by setting up an exciting blog in the Internet, to which photographers from all over the world were invited to participate: from Germany, Japan, Holland, Spain, Eastern Europe, South America and Toronto. Here an interactive and boundless shared photography chain is being produced, in which international photographers and their discourse about completely different pictorial languages are combined. The contact to photo-graphers from Osaka, Toronto, South America and Eastern Europe came into existence through the Goethe-Institut. Thus, German artists establish long-lasting contact to the international cultural scene, focused on joint themes it spawns further cooperation and results in an artistic flow going both ways.
In Frau Böhm’s Guest Room
The success of the artists-in-residence program in Toronto is demonstrated by the issue of the magazine, which found its way into so many visitors’ hands. Though, not just through the much-observed edition of the Böhm magazine and the blog we see that overall the residency had an extremely positive effect.
Sieber and Stuke invited Miles Collyer to exhibit his fascinating photography work TrackTop Masks in the guest room of the Böhm Trade Centre. Miles is the son of Robin Collyer, one of the most important Canadian artists, who in 2002, through a Goethe-Institut grant, had the opportunity to travel to Berlin. Mr. Collyer presented, along with Gosbert Adler, a dual exhibition reflecting the two metropolises of Berlin and Toronto in the Goethe-Institut Toronto gallery. In this respect, the ties between the following generation of artists, both German and Canadian, are strengthened and improved. The artistic duo Sieber and Stuke expanded their field of vision during their five-week stay in Toronto with the assistance of the Goethe-Institut. They put their own art into new contexts and established connections to Canadian artists. The Goethe-Institut initiated new contacts between artists as well as transatlantic cooperation and instigated an ongoing dialogue. At the same time the project injected the international art scene with the latest from Germany. An impressive result of this successful venture, co-presented by the Goethe-Institut Osaka, is the duo’s exhibition in the Osaka Contemporary Art Center in early 2006, which also included pieces of work from the Toronto period.
Arpad Sölter, Director Goethe Institut Toronto
- Year Created:
- Submitted to ArtBase: Sunday Mar 5th, 2006
- Original Url: http://blog.frau-boehm.de
- Permalink: http://blog.frau-boehm.de
- Katja Stuke, creator
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