Erich Lessing’s photographs from Post-World War II Europe EXPANDED

Opening: 12 May 2011, 5 pm, Archa Theatre, Prague
Exhibition period: 12 May – 10 June 2011
Curators: Marina Gržinić and Walter Seidl

Featuring the photographs by Erich Lessing, who was one of Magnum’s earliest photographers and who captured and monumentalised Europe from the 1950s on, is part of ERSTE Foundation’s focus on the changes in Central and Eastern Europe.

Beginning with the general thesis that Erich Lessing’s photojournalism allows for an understanding of what it means to think about history, Europe and photography, we selected about 30 photographs by Lessing that can be described as documents of Post-World War II Europe. We engaged in a radically raw dramaturgy to show the processes of forming the realm of Europe and the status of contemporary photography. We proposed a survey of Lessing’s work that focuses on three distinct topics: workers and peasants in post-World War II Europe – i.e., the Fordist mode of capitalist production seen via the division of Europe into East and West; politics in its historical, but also in its hegemonic, metonymical and metaphorical modes of representation; and of course revolution, represented by the Hungarian uprising of 1956.

In cooperation with Archa Theatre, Na Poříčí 26, 110 00, Prague 1.