Open Eye Gallery

Ugo Mulas, Venezia, 1968. Proteste studentesche, XXXIV Esposizione Biennale Internazionale d'Arte, “Photo Ugo Mulas © Ugo Mulas Heirs. All rights reserved,” courtesy camera16 contemporary art 

Not All Documents Are Records: Photographing Exhibitions as an Art Form

This exhibition looks at three key international visual-art platforms – Documenta, The Venice Biennale and Liverpool Biennial – through the lens of photography, moving between the past and future. The main theoretical question underpinning the project is: ‘Can photography retain its artistic licence and overcome pure documentation, whilst also narrating the history of an important art exhibition?’

The show starts with two seminal photographic series – Hans Haacke’s 1959 photographs of Documenta 2 and Ugo Mulas’ photographs of the 1968 Venice Biennale. It then progresses with a new commission from Cristina de Middel reinterpreting the history and imagining possible future developments for the Liverpool Biennial, and with Ira Lombardia’s infiltration of a fictional character into the catalogue of dOCUMENTA (13).