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Themesicon: navigation pathPhoto/Byteicon: navigation pathArchive—post/photographic
Atlas (Richter, Gerhard)Zeitungsfotos (Ruff, Thomas), 1981

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the higher social classes—and in the course of the twentieth century it ultimately became possible for anyone: We all take photographs, but we are also all familiar with the endlessly dreadful evenings looking at slides of someone's vacation, wedding or children. There are detailed analyses of the ways the high points of family life are fixed, how the history of the family is time and again narratively (re)constructed in annotated photo albums, how systems are created to remember the deceased or those who are almost always absent due to capitalist mobility (the famous picture in someone's wallet, almost in the sense of Holmes' banknote), etc. [40] These practices of the photographic archive allow a «narrative stabilization through self-assurance.» [41] Through the isolated or common carrying on one's person or looking at (selected) photographs or photo sequences in ritualized practices, certain historical genealogies and thus implied attributions of one's own social position can time and again be performatively created afresh (refer to the text by Kathrin Peters, «Instant Images»).


Gerhard Richter's «Atlas»

Gerhard Richter's «Atlas[42] in which photographs of the family meet newspaper (Thomas Ruff also examined by in one of his works) or advertising photos, contains an important artistic strategy which starts out from the private family photo archive in order to critically reflect the «reigning social uses of photography and their potential artistic functions.» [43] Richter thus examines the interference of various photographic archives. Artists may have always collected pictures and other materials which might serve as models or ideas, but with Richter (who also uses them as models), this heterogeneous repertoire itself ultimately became an artistic work—in 1997 the exhibition of this repertoire at the Documenta IX (which was also shown, amongst other places, in Krefeld in 1976, in Munich in 1989, and in 1990 in Cologne) again attracted a lot of attention. According to Buchloh, in this monumental collection of photographic images, started by Richter in 1962 after his escape from East Germany, he analyzes photography «as one of the instruments with which collective anomie, amnesia, and repression are socially inscribed.» [44] The images are organized on about 600

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