This installation by Erik Kessels is on show as part of an exhibition at Foam in Amsterdam that looks at the future of photography. It features print-outs of all the images uploaded to Flickr in a 24-hour period…
As you might imagine, this results in a lot of images, that fill the gallery space in an avalanche of photos. “We’re exposed to an overload of images nowadays,” says Kessels. “This glut is in large part the result of image-sharing sites like Flickr, networking sites like Facebook, and picture-based search engines. Their content mingles public and private, with the very personal being openly and un-selfconsciously displayed. By printing all the images uploaded in a 24-hour period, I visualise the feeling of drowning in representations of other peoples’ experiences.”
The aim of the What’s Next? exhibition is to provoke conversation about the future of the photography on the 10th anniversary of Foam. Looking at Kessels’ installation, it’s difficult not to feel nostalgic for photography’s past and to think of the sharing of all these images as a negative, a signal that we all need to exercise more editorial control. Yet, is that really the case? Perhaps sites such as Flickr, and the general ease of use provided by digital cameras, are instead encouraging us to think differently about photography, to see it as a truly democratic artform. Can there ever be too many images in the world?
What’s Next?, the Future of Photography Museum is on show at Foam in Amsterdam until December 7. Alongside Kessels’ installation, it also includes presentations from his fellow guest curators, Lauren Cornell, Jefferson Hack and Alison Nordström. More info on the show can be found here.
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