Der Greif has been selected by curator Lars Willumeit and Unseen’s artistic director Emilia van Lynden as one of 13 international organisations to participate in this year’s new section CO-OP at Unseen Amsterdam (22-24 September 2017).
Taking the jubilee issue #10 of Der Greif as the starting point, a selection of 24 photographers shown in the issue was asked to invite a photographer of their choice to submit a photograph that ‘reacts’ to theirs. This started a chain of invited photographers whose work responded to the previous image shown, and so forth. This chain reaction prompts photographers to interact with one another and for the audience to be able to visualise this dynamic ‘network’ of image threads developing.
For CO-OP, Der Greif brings this thread of images into the physical space, making it fully accessible for the audience to interact with. The images are presented in a grid, produced as blocks of postcards in A5 size. The images are positioned centrally on the paper in such a way that both landscape and portrait formats work within the grid. Visitors are, depending on certain conditions, allowed to take one (or more) image with them. Thus, the project creates a juxtaposition between the ‘virtual space’, a “market” where the image threads are produced and the physical space where the collection of images are displayed, but where certain images will diminuish according to how many are taken away by visitors. Each image is printed 25 times and remains visible until all 25 copies have been removed by the audience. A removed image creates an empty space within the grid-hanging that still refers to the once physically present image. Once an image has been removed completely in the physical space, it will also marked as being removed on the website, thus the online space ‘reacts’ to the physical space and viewers online can see the audience’s reactions in the space. The images’ presentation clearly engages with the photograph as a reproducible medium and simultaneously questions the different “values” of a photographic image. The project wants to foster this discussion, especially during a photography fair.