Icons by Cortis & Sonderegger installation at East Wing, Dubai
Installation documentation of Icons by Cortis and Sonderegger at East Wing in Dubai, UAE
ICONS - works by Jojakim Cortis and Adrian Sonderegger
Cortis & Sonderegger recreate some of the world's most iconic images in their studio, reproducing what seems impossible to duplicate. Purposeful forgeries that outwit and question documentary aspects in photography raising questions about the temporal nature of memory & history.
ICONS Works by Jojakim Cortis and Adrian Sonderegger Opening Thursday 14 April 7pm
Gallery Talk with the Artists on Saturday 16 April at 2:00pm
In 2012, Swiss based artists Jojakim Cortis and Adrian Sonderegger presented themselves with a challenge; to recreate some of the world’s most iconic images in their studio. Trawling through books filled with history’s most memorable photographs, the duo used optical tricks to reproduce what seemed impossible to duplicate – a series of iconic moments that changed perspectives, often resulting in creative or political rebellion.
Carefully considering the original conditions in which each image was made, the artists meticulously mimicked the original methods in their studio; building scale models and paying close attention to the lighting and vantage point of the camera in an attempt to literally ‘re-make’ these events, which range from the crash of the Hindenburg and the supersonic passenger jet Concorde, to the last photographic of the Titanic and the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima. They also expanded the challenge to important moments the history of photography, remaking images by Man Ray, Ansel Adams and Andreas Gursky.
In their final compositions, Cortis & Sonderegger pull the camera back to reveal their studio and working methods, revealing the ‘making of’ aspect of their craft. By including the debris of their constructions (paint, glue, cotton wool, etc.) the artists present an image within an image – leaving the viewer unbalanced between the remake of the past and the artist’s studio environment of the present.
Cortis & Sonderegger also look for ways to ‘outwit and question the documentary aspect’ of photography. It is important to them that their photographs are seen as completely transparent forgeries, with no additional digital ‘tricks’ (they use Photoshop only to adjust contrast). For them, these Icons are straightforward studio productions and not digital compositions; the inner image is the historical moment, while the outer background makes a snapshot of the present. Their aim is not to mislead the viewer – instead, they want to fully expose the staging process in order to raise questions in the mind of their audience about the temporal nature of experience and memory.
Jojakim Cortis (b. 1978) & Adrian Sonderegger (b.1980) have lived and worked in Zurich, Switzerland since 2001. They began working collaboratively during their studies at Zurich University of the Arts in 2005. Their practice is focused mainly in the field of editorial photography for national and international magazines. The artists will give a free gallery talk on Saturday 16 April at 2pm – the exhibition of Icons runs until Thursday 26 May.