East Wing will present Swiss based artist Jojakim Cortis & Adrian Sonderegger at Photo London from 18 - 21 May at Somerset House.
Icons by Cortis & Sonderegger:
began working collaboratively while studying at Zurich University of the Arts in 2005. Collectively they conceive and manufacture surreal worlds in their series Icons
, focusing on monumental moments in history, while questioning the temporal nature of experience and memory.
Carefully considering the conditions in which each original image was made, the artists meticulously mimic these same methods in their studio; using scale models, paying close attention to the original lighting and vantage point of the camera in an attempt to literally ‘re-make’ these events, which range from the crash of the Hindenburg and the supersonic passenger jet, Concorde, to the last photograph of the Titanic and the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima. Cortis & Sonderegger expanded this self-imposed challenge to include important moments in the history of photography; remaking images by Henri Cartier Bresson, William Eggleston, Man Ray, Ansel Adams and Andreas Gursky.
In their final compositions they step back to reveal their studio and working methods exposing the ‘backstage’ of their craft. By including the debris of their constructions (paint, glue, cotton wool, etc.), the artists create a frame - an image within an image - positioning the viewer in an unbalanced reality between the original memorized photographs from the past and the remake, combined with the artist’s studio environment in the present. The inner image acts as historical record, while the outer background becomes a snapshot of the present.
Their aim is not to mislead the viewer – instead, they want to fully expose this staging process in order to raise questions about the temporal nature of experience and memory. The relationship between chance and photography is also in question. How does one contemplate reenactments of a one in a million ‘chance moment’ when it is transformed meticulously into a staged reproduction, leaving nothing to chance?