Outside the box, or how do you recount the history of a “rebellious photography” without domesticating it?

To mark the 40th anniversary of the Werkstatt für Photographie (Workshop for Photography), founded and run from 1976 to 1986 by Michael Schmidt at the People’s University of Berlin-Kreuzberg, three exhibitions in Essen, Berlin and Hanover documented the Workshop’s impact on German photography in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Among them Das rebellische Bild (The Rebellious Image) at the Museum Folkwang in Essen focused on the exchanges between the Berlin group and the new scene in Essen revolving around the university photography department and the Museum Folkwang. It set out to show the profound transformations of photography at the time: formally and in its approach to the documentary issue, but also in its modes of dissemination and presentation, its materiality and its spatial reach. The exhibition called all these aspects into play in its distinctive scenography.

Vue de la reconstitution de la série Essen, Frühling, 1981 d’Andreas Horlitz, dans Das rebellische Bild. © Andreas Langfeld

Florian Ebner has been chief curator of photography at the Centre Pompidou in Paris since July 2017. A graduate of the National School of Photography in Arles and the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, where he studied history and art history, he taught photography at the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts in 2000–2006, then was appointed director of the Museum for Photography in Braunschweig. From 2012 to 2017 he was in charge of the photography collection at the Museum Folkwang in Essen, and in 2015 he curated the German pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale.

Citation: Florian Ebner, « Sortir du cadre, ou comment exposer l’histoire d’une ‹ photographie rebelle › sans la domestiquer ? », Transbordeur. Photographie histoire société, no. 2, 2018, pp. 158-171.

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