Sean Snyder

16 September–25 October 2009

Sean Snyder is a visual artist who has produced research-oriented projects focusing on image production and representation. Using examples from media, cinema, urban space and architecture his work analyses the relation between image and text.

Recently, Sean Snyder has investigated the transformative role of the archive in relation to digital imaging technologies, developing a methodological approach to the structuring of information. Utilizing the interpretative potential of documents and databases, his work explores documentary practice as a historical construct, and more generally the underlying role of aesthetics in ideology and culture.

This presentation at Index will be Sean Snyder’s first individual presentation in Sweden, including two of the artist’s most recent works.
Edited from a Soviet-era documentary about an exhibition of Mexican art in the Ukraine in the 1960s, the narrative of the film Exhibition has been restructured to reflect the rituals and conventions of contemporary art practice.
Additionally, a version of the on-going project titled Index will be presented. Included are images of the artist’s physical archive that have been destroyed and digitized, outlining a selective topology of the materials of artistic research.

Thanks to Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris.

In his talk Zoran Eric, curator at Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, will analyse the works of artists that are thematising different aspects of confinement or (self)isolation in global societies. Due to constant fear and danger of terrorism, safety has become the first and foremost concern of many countries that are “closing” themselves within tangible and intangible barriers of control and surveillance. These spatial principles of confinement are intertwining in “safety architecture”, “zones of indistinction” (ghettos and gated communities), and places like prisons or detention camps as the most radical manifestations of discipline and terror.

The lecture feature screenings of works by Sean Snyder and other artists.

“The constant presence of images characterizes our time. The ideals of advertising and the dramaturgy of news reports determines what we pay attention to. That the media entails power is an understatement. In the film ‘Videocracy’ about Berlosconi’s Italy, Erik Gandini shows examples of how the media has become the power itself. Against this background, Sean Snyder, born in the United States but currently living in Kiev and Tokyo, is an interesting artist. Snyder, who is now on display at Index, addresses both historical and contemporary media phenomena, questions and dissects them. What distinguishes a propaganda film from a documentary? How is an archive created and how is the content affected by the categorization? Snyder’s interest in the report’s aesthetics in relation to politics and consumption runs through his work. He collects material for his investigations and works in the former Eastern bloc and among the documentaries of the Iraq or Afghanistan wars.”

Translated quote from DN, 2009-10-01, Maria Lantz. Read full text in Swedish.