Antique Camera Dolly from Nordisk Film

Mercury

- a visual essay by Simon Dybbroe Møller. Curated by Post Brothers. Tallinn Photomonth 2019

Artists: Thomas Bayrle, Nina Beier, Alexandra Bircken, D’Angelo, Georgia Gardner Gray, Edith Karlson, Elke Krystufek, Jochen Lempert, John Miller, Rait Prääts, Heji Shin, Sung Tieu, Sophus Tromholt, Andrew Norman Wilson, and more.

 

Photography as a material process had quite a short life. One could mark the endpoints of its historical moment as ranging from the toxic mercury fumes of the Daguerrotype to the computer-generated quicksilver of the shape-shifting android assassin T-1000 in the film Terminator 2. Now the field of photography has itself become mercury-like. Liquid, protean, mutable, and fast flowing. Magically reflective, moving at the slightest touch. It has been detached from its roots and freed from its baggage of accountability and physicality. Digital photography is more data-collecting than picture making. Most of our snapshots will never be looked at, even once, not even by ourselves. They are hardly pictures, only sleeping data, existing and not existing at once. Today when we photograph, we mostly use our phone – a device named for its capacity to transmit audio signals. Perhaps the photographic imagery we produce now is closer to spoken language than it is to analogue photography?

 

In recent exhibitions and texts, the artist Simon Dybbroe Møller has argued that photography as such has ceased to exist and is now solely a reference point. An already ancient technique, an abstract term that we apply to stuff, a thing that we carry around with us and relate everything to. A visual essay comprised of artworks alongside arcane artifacts, Mercury discusses images and objects and routines that are not photography but are photography-like. It considers how we look at the world around us, and how we perceive history and our material world through the lens of technological development. And specifically, how already obsolete or moribund technologies colour our relationship to now.

Post Brothers has curated exhibitions and lectured in Poland, Mexico, Canada, the United States, Portugal, Denmark, Greece, Estonia, Germany, Austria, Lithuania, Italy, Finland, Belgium, Latvia, The Netherlands, and China. His essays and articles have been published in Annual Magazine, the Baltic Notebooks of Anthony Blunt, Cura, Fillip, Kaleidoscope, Mousse, Nero, Art Papers, Pazmaker, Punkt, and Spike Art Quarterly, as well as in numerous artist publications and exhibition catalogues. Born in Los Angeles in 1984, Post studied at Emily Carr Institute for Art and Design in Vancouver (BFA, 2006), and at California College of Arts in San Francisco (MA in Curatorial Practices, 2009). Post lives between Munich and Kolonia Koplany, a small village in Eastern Poland.

 

Simon Dybbroe Møller is interested in how we change media and how media changes us. His work tests the relationship between essential sensate qualities and the evolution of communication. Dybbroe Møller has had solo exhibitions at Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius, Fondazione Giuliani in Rome, Kunsthalle Sao Paulo, 21er Haus in Vienna, Kunstverein Hannover, Frankfurter Kunstverein, West London Projects, Kunstmuseum Thun, Kunsthal Aarhus and the University of Michigan Museum of Art, among others. His work was included in the 5th Moscow Biennial, the 2nd Turin Triennial and the 9th Berlin Biennial and in group exhibitions at MOCA Detroit; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; The Wattis Institute, San Francisco; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Barbican, London; GAM, Turin; SMK National Gallery, Copenhagen; MMK, Frankfurt; IMMA, Dublin; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, and Kunstverein München. Born in Aarhus, Denmark in 1976, Simon Dybbroe Møller studied at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. He lives and works in Berlin.