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Travel Tip: Art and Archaeology in Switzerland
The Ecstasy of Things

The Ecstasy of Things: From the Functional Object to the Fetish in 20th Century Photographs
ZURICH  •  Fotomuseum Winterthur  •  Ongoing
Things, their utilisation, their appearance and their financial and symbolic value speak volumes about our relationship with the world. The path through the 20th century leads from the actual things to the immaterial image of things, from the design of objects via their production, the use to which they are put in everyday life and our imagination, right up to their degeneration into trash.

Achille B. Weider: Modeaufnahme, um 1970.
Fotostiftung Schweiz, Winterthur.
© Achille B. Weider, Zürich
Photo courtesy of Fotomuseum Winterthur

This project is concerned with precisely this kind of photography, photography commissioned by designers, manufacturers and advertising agencies pictures known as object, or product, photographs. A group of twenty researchers have persued different archives in European and American states in order to find previously undiscovered examples of applied photography on the theme. Parallel to these photographs, the exhibition shows work by photographers including Eugène Atget, Edward Steichen, Hans Finsler, Anton Stankowski, Albert Renger-Patzsch, August Sander, Man Ray, André Kertész, Hans Bellmer, Duane Michals, William Wegman, Fischli Weiss, Louise Lawler, Christopher Williams and John Gossage. The aim of the exhibition and book project "The Ecstasy of Things" is to cast a retrospective glance, reflected by the medium of photography, back over the century of things from today's standpoint. On the one hand, the project describes and explores the economic, technological, ecological, cultural and emotional content of things, on the other it discusses their appearance and steps in the development of their photographic portrayal. In each and every stage of development the creation, presentation, selection, production, marketing and sale of things photography is used as a central means of communication.

Fotomuseum Winterthur Web Site

Contact: Tel: (41) 52 233 60 86

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