The exhibition also includes a wide selection of interviews, videos, archival images, publications and other original objects, combining historical documentations with contemporary material. Quotes on the walls remind the visitors how traces of these thoughts could also be found in the past, and how photography has always been anything but a simple and naïve medium of communication.

Despite their diversity, all these materials are arranged on the same floor, without hierarchies or priorities, offering viewers a narrative-themed experience that is as immersive as it is layered. 

As noted by the curator, “Instead of being only the subject of the photographs, the objects of our world are now constructed on the basis of the photographs themselves and their re-elaborations, inverting a previous one-way relationship. These transformations bring with them some fundamental repercussions on the economic and political level: the great masses of images that feed this system have acquired an extraordinary value, giving those who possess and manage them equally limitless power. In a capitalist society, photography dominates not only the imagination, but much more.”

University of Rochester, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation (RBSCP), Kodak Historical Collection. Photographer unknown, photo for a Recordak ad, labelled “All those checks in a 100-foot roll. That’s economy,” ca. 1955.

© Armin Linke /Estelle Blaschke / Capital Image / Kodak

IMAGE CAPITAL is an opportunity to think about photography through a new lens, away from the canonical conception of the photographic image and much closer to that of information, resource and economic capital: an idea of photography that reflects the world we live in, more than we are willing to believe.

The exhibition is possible thanks to the cooperation between Fondazione MAST (Bologna), Museum Folkwang (Essen), Centre Pompidou (Paris) and Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation (Frankfurt/Eschborn).

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