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20 August 2009

Arnaud Gisinger & Anthony Haughey, Outrageous Reality

The connection with reality is the main issue photographers have been facing ever since the medium was invented. The exhibition Scandaleux réel (Outrageous Reality), to be presented at the Galerie Aréna this summer will tackle the question from the point of view of the relationship between image and memory and of the way or ways the image contributes—or not—to the building of memory. Even if Arno Gisinger and Anthony Haughey’s opt for markedly different approaches, memory and its processing, together with the link between the photograph and the construction of memory, remain central to their work.

Arno Gisinger’s work proposes a photographic and sometimes written reconsideration of memory’s places and non-places. The issue of the representation of history through its different forms and genres—portraits, objects, landscapes—is at the heart of his artistic approach. The introduction of a historical element into his photography takes place before he actually begins work. Several series use writing, often within the pictures themselves, and this sets up a tension between the written and the visual.

Arno Gisinger’s work proposes a photographic and sometimes written reconsideration, of memory’s places and non-places. Arno Gisinger will present American plan. For this project he focused on the countless mementos which mostly reproduce ad nauseam the image of the three firefighters at Ground Zero in New York, during the disaster on September 11, 2001.

Anthony Haughey appropriates and re-stages past events. For him, returning to archival material is a socially conscious act through which fragmented and recreated historical narratives allow a critical reinterpretation of events. Extracting and deciphering information hidden in accounts of the past and bringing a fresh eye to archival documents can have a transforming effect. Anthony Haughey’s approach is in the tradition of Walter Benjamin who wrote, ‘To articulate the past historically does not mean to recognise it the way it really was.’

Anthony Haughey will be presenting Class of 73, part of the larger project Disputed Territory (1998–2006), which deals with the consequences of conflicts in Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo.

Laetitia Talbot, exhibition curator.

The French National School of Photography in Arles would like to thank Culture Ireland for its regular backing of Anthony Haughey’s work, and the French Embassy in Ireland for this exhibition in particular.

Exhibition venue: Galerie Arena, Rencontres d’Arles 2009.