© Armin Linke

Ghazi Barotha hydroelectric scheme. Site workers praying, Pakistan, 1999

Armin Linke
An uneven exchange of power

For over a decade, Milan-based photographer and filmmaker Armin Linke has built an archive of images about human activity and the most varied natural and man-made landscapes. This archive consists of a series of atlases that simultaneously capture intimate local situations and radical large-scale transformations the world over. His work is both political and poetic: political in his constant reference to social and ideological constructions of space, and poetic in his use of performance, the practice of everyday life, and his invocation of the utopian imagination. Linke documents scenes where the boundary between fiction and non-fiction blurs or becomes invisible.

An uneven exchange of power, curated by Anselm Franke, presents a selection of over 200 images from Linke's archive, shown in large format books organized in categories that correspond to the organization of the archive, such as landscape architecture, performance, interior, and fashion, among others. The images often redefine the categories: in landscape architecture we find Soviet-style abandoned discotheque, Samarcand, Uzbekistan, 2001; in performance, The Synagogue, Church of All Nations, TV show, Lagos, Nigeria, 2000; and in interior, Star City ZPK, pressurized trousers, Moscow, Russia, 1998.

The photos introduce a different understanding of the present by subverting the prevalent visual regimes produced by the media, tourism, the military and other special interest groups. Similarly, in the two videos included in the exhibition, "Baghdad, 24.04.2002", 2002, and "Gaza City, Road Block" at Netsareim Settlement Beach Road, 2003, Linke depicts the unexpected banality of everyday activities in unstable political environments.

Linke's archive is also viewable online, through the Book on Demand project, first presented at Utopia Station, at www.arminlinke.com. In addition to the categories above, the archive is searchable by key words and nearly 400 different "places’".

Curated by Anselm Franke.

The recent publication: "Armin Linke: Transient", edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Stefano Boeri, (Skira, 2003) is also available at the gallery.

Exhibition: May 8 - June 5, 2004
Gallery hours: Tue-Sat 11am - 6pm

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