Agfa promotional photo, 1950/60s
Museum Ludwig archive

GAAF Fiona Tan

ven 3 mai 2019, 20:00

Museum Ludwig
50667 Cologne

Comment s'y rendre ?

International artists discover archives in Cologne: this is the idea behind the Internationale Photoszene Köln 2019 festival program “Artist Meets Archive.” As cooperating partners, six institutions each invited an artist to develop a project based on their collection. The Museum Ludwig invited the artist and filmmaker Fiona Tan (b. 1966 in Pekanbaru, Indonesia; lives in Amsterdam) to realize an exhibition project with the museum’s photography collection as the starting point. Fiona Tan’s work revolves around questions of time, identity, and memory. The archive as a time capsule has played a role in her artistic strategies of research and classification in previous projects.

Fiona Tan: GAAF takes as its starting point the Agfacolor advertisement archive—several thousand 6 × 6 color negatives and photographs which were taken between 1952 and 1968. This archive provided Agfa with material for advertisements, brochures, exhibitions, and the magazine Agfa Photoblätter. After discovering this almost forgotten and uncatalogued archive at the Museum Ludwig, Tan became interested in the inherent paradox of its images: staged and idealized scenes of models posing for professional photographers, nonetheless intended to appear spontaneous and authentic, as if taken by amateurs.

The Dutch word gaaf—an anagram, or reordering, of the letters in Agfa—means “neat” or “perfect.”