Global Affairs – Investigations on the web – by Kurt Caviezel at the Center of Photography, Geneva
“Suddenly the camera has a thousand eyes. Lenses interconnect and become a single constantly photographing camera; the screen at home is the viewfinder, the mouse is the catcher, the webcam the optical device.” (Kurt Caviezel)
Kurt Caviezel, born in Chur in 1964, photographs the world using publicly accessible web cams. He does not operate like a conventional photographer – in a particular place with a camera ready to capture that “decisive moment” in the flow of real events. Instead he sits at home at his computer, “strolls” per mouse click through the whole Internet and collects images that appear briefly on his screen before being overwritten again by subsequent images. These images are from all realms of life, foreseeable images as well as totally surprising images.
What Kurt Caviezel observes on his screen and stores on the hard disc of his computer are fragments from an infinite flood of images produced by thousands of web cams distributed all over the globe. That flow suggests a global perspective and pretends to illuminate all corners of the earth, but the image of the world it actually provides is merely fragmentary, sometimes at a time lag and with quite a number of image disturbances.
Even though Kurt Caviezel has never been to the places where these web cam images were taken, the works in the exhibition still show his distinctive artistic handwriting. Caviezel is an assembler of a world found as an image. He confronts us with a selection of individual images as views, and with larger serial work groups on themes such as everyday life (from cleaning, eating, smoking to yawning and sleeping), the portrait and the self-portrait (at home in front of the computer or as a shadow of the web cam itself), street photography (traffic control), reportage (“on the road” in America), animal depictions (from the fish in the shop window to the stag on the bed) and surveillance. These are mixed with individual messages (such as “Hello Zottel” or “Miss you”) and impaired by electronic transmission errors.
Kurt Caviezel’s ingenious selection, assembly and performing strategies indicate that hidden in the images downloaded from the Internet sometimes is a surreal or even subversive aesthetic potential. Additionally these images playfully reflect our current human condition in the complicated field of tension between exhibitionism and surveillance.
Go and see this remarkable exhibition which is opened until May 05, 2013.
Also, a public speech will take place on April 16, between the artists- Kurt Caviezel and Joerg Bader on photographic work topic. This conversation will be followed by a Michel Palm film “Low Definition Control” presented by Luciano Barisone, the director of the international film festival “Visions du réel” (which will take place in Nyon from 19 to 26 of April).
Centre de la photographie Genève
Bac – Bâtiment d’art contemporain
28, rue des Bains, CH – 1205 Genève
Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 6pm