A panoramic view manifesting different potentials, each time its fragments modulate. An optical illusion that becomes accessible only when the eyes and the body are aligned properly. Obscure surfaces scarred by grinding machinery. A remote vehicle roving uncharted territories. A snow-clad narrative in human history bound by a portable landform.
In “Towards a Philosophy of Photography”, Vilem Flusser marks an innate difference between machines of the industrial era and apparatuses that appear subsequently. Whereas machines interfere with the malleable world directly, apparatuses manufacture intermediary symbols out of it. According to Flusser, cameras can be classified as apparatuses, and despite claims that the world becomes intelligible through the images they produce, he states that these, in fact, establish a new perceptual standard which irreversibly transforms the way we grasp reality. Louis Althusser employs the term from another standpoint, and recounts organizations such as mass media, official institutions, religious sects, and the family as ideological apparatuses that sustain the status-quo implicitly.
Within the framework of this exhibition, apparatus indicates not only a robotic eye that collects information on alien grounds, but also the power structures, expansionist desires and colonial practices stretching through centuries via institutional, political, and technological continuities.
The exhibition asserts that photographic images cannot be interpreted without a consideration of the motives and circumstances that surround and inform them. It handles photographs as charged objects operational in transferring the knowledge of the distant to a given center. Tackling the image archive of Opportunity (Mer-B), a recently lost vehicle that was probing Mars for 15 years, “Apparatus” attempts to interpret this collection through a variety of approaches comprising analogue and digital prints, photographic objects, moving images, sound, and site-specific installations.