EXIT #57 - Reconstructing History View larger

EXIT #57 - Reconstructing History

Producciones de Arte y Pensamiento, S.L.

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Reconstructing History

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EditorialProyectos Utópicos S.L
YearFebruary / 2015
LanguageSpanish / English
PagesFrom 160 to 200


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EXIT #57 - Reconstructing History

EXIT #57 reflects on the way in which photographs have worked to reconstruct history.

There was a popular song that went: "tell me a story and you'll see how I sleep merrily". And history was born; history as literature, as narrative, or in its derivative, as story; as tall tale, or as exotic, strange, far out or absurd yarn. Over time history became essential, the memory of the past, something very serious that had to be studied, learned, memorized...so that, with knowledge of the past, one could understand the present and avoid repeating the same errors in the future. Over time the stories we were told so we would go to sleep have become our nightmares. Over time we have learned that history is actually fiction of the worst kind, without freedom, written at the dictates of the interests of contemporary governments, more related to the times in which it is written than with what really happened... Did it really happen? We could not distinguish with certainty what really happened from anything else. It all depends on whether history tells us what the truth is, that this happened so. There are never any witnesses to tell what really happened. Considering this, we must admit that history is simply a perverse creation of each era and each place.

The past is almost as infinite as the future and it has enabled man to develop his ingenuity and to create art, such as history painting: scenes of power told by artists of power, the quintessence of official history.  Later, history coincided with photography, the best way we have ever found to tell a lie with all the semblance, symbolism and attributes of truth. Photography would not focus only on the glorious milestones along the great historical paths, but on everything that has reached the present on tortuous paths, through the back door, and without a shred of glory. It tells the cursed stories, the small stories, those that are surely truer or at least more exemplary than the others, the ones that are missing from the books we study. From spoofs to homages, truths and lies, the most characteristic contemporary photographers, photo artists, remake the narration of history, in order to transform it, revitalize it, divest it of majesty and grandiloquence, converting it into theatricality in a simple staging, giving the history of yesteryear a contemporary look. At the same time, we are before a rebellion and before the story told once more in another time, with another twist, another revision that includes information, witnesses and forms that had never before found a place in any narrative.

Tell me a story. Rosa Olivares

History Painting. Sergio Rubira.

Eleanor Antin, Mikel Bastida, Carol Condé & Karl Beveridge, Thomas Demand, Stan Douglas, Óscar Farfán, Samuel Fosso, Tom Hunter, Richard Kolker, Emeric Lhuisset, Cristina de Middel, Yasumasa Morimura, William Mortensen, Jim Naughten, Eva O'Leary & Harry Griffin, Oscar Gustav Rejlander, Ann-Sofi Sidén, Paolo Ventura.