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International Center of Photography opens A Different Kind of Order: The ICP Triennial

International Center of Photography presents A Different Kind of Order a global survey of contemporary photography and video, will be on view at the International Center of Photography (1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street) from May 17 to September 8, 2013.

Sam Falls, Untitled (House, Red and Yellow, Joshua Tree, CA), 2012. Courtesy the artist and M + B Gallery.
Sam Falls, Untitled (House, Red and Yellow, Joshua Tree, CA), 2012. Courtesy the artist and M + B Gallery.

Filling ICP’s entire gallery space as well as its exterior windows, the exhibition will feature 28 emerging and established artists from 14 countries whose works speak to and illuminate the new visual and social territory in which image making operates today. Artists include Nayland Blake, A.K. Burns, Thomas Hirschhorn, Elliott Hundley, Gideon Mendel, Wangechi Mutu, Sohei Nishino, Lisa Oppenheim, and Nica Ross.

Starting from the premise that most photography is now produced, processed, and distributed in digital form, A Different Kind of Order explores the sometimes unanticipated consequences of this shift as revealed in the work of a wide range of international artists. For the younger artists in the Triennial, the digital revolution is something that happened during their childhood, and dealing with its ramifications has occupied most of their creative lives. For artists of this generation (such as Sam Falls, Andrea Longacre-White, and Oliver Laric), mixing the new idioms of digital imagemaking with the existing visual language of painting, sculpture, and collage is almost second nature. Other Triennial artists, wary of the advent of “screen culture,” emphasize the handmade qualities of their work, yet even they recognize that their efforts are situated within the space of a fully digitized, networked world.

The exhibition sketches the contours of the new visual and social territory in which photography finds itself today. A number of key themes serve as guidelines that link the works in the exhibition:

• Artist as aggregator identifies one of the main aesthetic offshoots of the digital image environment: the present-day descendants of the “image scavengers” of the 1980s who are now busy plundering and reorganizing found, online photographs into highly personal, web-based archives.

• The resurgence of collage is evident in works that combine photographic fragments, digital images, paint, three-dimensional objects, and audio and video material to blast open and reconfigure the space of the photograph in unprecedented ways.

• At a time when all manner of power structures are being called into question, mapping has become a renewed subject of artistic inquiry—part of a wider fascination with the power of ordering systems that has emerged in response to the dematerialized disorder of the Internet’s environment.

• The Internet’s dissolution of geographic distance has spurred the development of new forms of community, allowing artists to explore new forms of connection, collaboration, and multiple authorship that do not depend on physical proximity.

• In cooperation with ICP Associate Librarian Matthew Carson, the exhibition will also include an installation of approximately 100 recent photo books, which testifies to the extraordinary boom in self- published and small-press photo books now occurring around the world.

A Different Kind of Order: The ICP Triennial was organized by ICP curators Kristen Lubben, Christopher Phillips, Carol Squiers, and Joanna Lehan. See below for curator biographies.

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