The history of photography has been constructed and narrated by the iconic power of a series of images, single photographs that seem to summarize events as complex as wars, the emergence of new technologies or the addition of new canons of beauty. The iconic power of these photos generates a fascination linked to the technical capabilities of the person who took them, the relevance of the moment that was captured or the attractive symbolism of the aesthetics they contain. Their narrative potential and ability to arouse empathy has filled the popular imagination, provoking reactions and influencing the way in which the world is explained and understood. This power, sometimes mythologised, has also been the subject of meticulous analysis and growing criticism.
The Icons series, by Swiss artists Jojakim Cortis & Adrian Sonderegger, deconstructs some of the best-known iconic images in the history of photography. They make detailed models –bearing a surprising resemblance to the original– which they photograph, including the tools, materials and the workspace they used. These contextual elements invite us to consider the conditions in which icons are made and their relationship with ideas related to beauty, history or truth. It is an exercise that questions the role of photography as an instrument for the construction of a linear, monolithic story, while underlining its potential as a tool for opening debates with multiple, intertwined responses.
Born in Aachen, Germany, in 1978, Jojakim Cortis is a freelance photographer and university lecturer. Cortis has lived in Zurich since 2001. In 2006 he graduated in photography at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHDK), where he started collaborating with Adrian Sonderegger and since 2009 he has been working as a technical assistant and lecturer.
Born in Bülach, Switzerland, in 1980, Adrian Sonderegger is a freelance photographer and university lecturer. Since 2001, he lives and works in Zurich. He studied photography at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHDK) with Jojakim Cortis. He worked as an assistant to artist Jules Spinatsch from 2007 to 2011.
The collaboration between the two began in 2005 while studying at the ZHDK. Since then they have been working together on editorial and advertising projects, and as university lecturers at various art schools. Their famous "Icons" series has been exhibited in galleries, fairs, festivals and museums all over the world, including festivals such as Athens Photo Festival, Lianzhou Foto, Landskrona Foto Festival, Photo London, Images Vevey or fairs such as Paris Photo or Photofairs in San Francisco, among others. Their work is part of public and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum Folkwang in Essen, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Fotostiftung Winterthur in Switzerland or the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Photography.
Venue: Ereaga beach