Paulien Oltheten and Michael Gibbs


7 February 2007

gibbs-mapping-the-city.pdf (37 Kb)

starts 8 p.m. / free entrance

As part of the exhibition program of ‘Capricious – Young Photographers’, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam presents two not quite similar evening lectures.

Paulien Oltheten presents: ‘A sort of Lecture’ and ‘Mapping the City, or, Illegibilities of the Layered Depths’, a lecture by Michael Gibbs

Paulien Oltheten’s contribution to the exhibition is a once-only lecture that will be held in the exhibition space of Bureau Amsterdam. During this lecture, the artist presents photographic registrations, made on her journeys to e.g. China en Russia. These registrations form the basis from which Oltheten’s storytelling departs. By commenting on her pictures, Oltheten adds to her snapshots of urban life a personal, supplementary level of interpretation.

Michael Gibbs’ lecture ‘Mapping the City, or, Illegibilities of the Layered Depths’ will be more contemplative. Taking its cues from the post-modern critique of Frederik Jameson and the urban analyses of Henri Lefebvre, Michael Gibbs will focus on photographic representations of the city from the 19th till the 21st centuries. Urban space has always been contested -- commercial, political and social ideologies compete for representational space, creating a labyrinth of signs and meanings that are increasingly illegible. How have artists and photographers attempted to decipher these 'layered depths'? Taking the work of such artists as Martha Rosler, Allan Sekula, Hans Aarsman and Steve Willats as examples, Gibbs traces the emergence of a counter-discourse that foregrounds the users' 'right to the city'. The flight from real to virtual urban spaces, however, might well signal a retreat away from human contact in favour of a totally mediatised world.

Present in the audience will be two ‘commentators’: Hans Eijkelboom, photographer, and Bas Vroege, curator of photographs and the director of Paradox. In case they are asked for it, Eijkelboom and Vroege will provide their expertise.