French artist Tatiana Lecomte has for years been concerned with issues of visual memory. How can we come to terms with traumatic history through images? Lecomte explores how reproductions are suited to communicating memories. What photographs show and what they do not (cannot) show is the subject of her work: The “unrepresentable” quality inherent in every photographic representation. For her exhibition at the Museum Judenplatz, the artist has reflected not only on the debate over the photographic image but also on the concept of the impossibility of imagining the Shoah.

A quotation from Robert Antelme’s autobiographical writings on life and death in the concentrations camps offers the point of departure for this: Unimaginable, that is a word that cannot be divided, that does not restrict. It is the most comfortable word. If you run around with this word as a protective shield, this word of the void, your step will be more certain and solid, the conscience catches itself again. (Robert Antelme, L’espèce humaine, 1947)  

In צלם וצילום Tatiana Lecomte is showing photographs of mounted birds. The name of the species of bird selected is based on the color that characterizes its plumage. Central aspects of photography are called into question here: the accurate reproduction and comparability of aspects of reality (color) and the categorization of this reality by means of photographic appearance.

Curator: Danielle Spera
Graphic Design: Fuhrer Wien    

A 64-page catalog in English and German is available from Bookshop Singer in the Museum at Dorotheergasse 11, 1010 Vienna or order via E-Mail info@jmw.at (price €14.90, ISBN: 978-3-901398-67-4).  The birds shown in the exhibition come from the Natural History Museum Vienna.