The photographic image exists largely on screen or in flat two-dimensional form. As photography progresses and the synthesis between fine art practice and lens culture merge, the photographic image itself establishes itself in flux between the praxis of de-materialization and three-dimensional representation. The surface of an image is often a great starting point for considering how to liberate the photograph from its previous nominal flat state into a state of object-hood.

Photographic surfaces are destroyed, built up, and worn to create completely new images. This exhibition shows the work of artists who are considering the surface of the image as a starting point to investigate what a photographic representation is, was and can be. It is to treat the photograph itself as an object without giving way to transformation to complete three-dimensionality.

The artists have employed various techniques to alter the surface of the image captured by the lens. Sofia Borges (BR, °1984) has treated the surface of her to fire, a destructive and enabling technique built on the serendipity of the flame. Melinda Gibson (GB, °1985) and Thomas Sauvin’s (FR, °1983) ‘Lunar Caustic’ series transforms found Chinese archive material from Sauvin’s widely celebrated ‘Beijing Silvermine’ to acid, corrosively enabling a dream-like state of decay upon the original image. Petra Kubisova’s (SK, °1981) single image has been forensically treated to finger print powder creating a tension between the original object, its handling and the perception of empathy and memory of the original photographic object existing in unseen and parallel layers that she brings to visibility. Brad Feuerhelm (US, °1977) works between collecting and archival practice. The work combines found archival material from a survivor of multiple concentration camps with original photographic album pages in which the original image has been removed, yet traces of its previous state are visible questioning the relationship of perceived photographic documents to the archival material presented with it. Daisuke Yakota (JP, °1983) works with large format photographic emulsion, transferring layers of representational surface to new support structures, questioning the status of the physical photographic image and what it means to remove and distort their value. Thomas Vandenberghe’s (BE, °1985) work is often diminutive and contemplative. Working with repetition and the single image, the artist often uses strikes or scratches, evaluating the serial nature of the photographic image and the possibilities to read the singular photograph in different ways. Ruth van Beek (NL, °1977) is an artist mostly working in the collage format cleverly re-defining a single image by folding it in on itself and in doing so creates new biological forms open to interpretation that feel familiar and alien at the same time.

Brad Feuerhelm (US, °1977) is fotografieverzamelaar, kunstenaar, curator, handelaar en schrijver over fotografie. Hij publiceerde meerdere boeken over zijn collectie en werk, en schrijft regelmatig voor zowel gedrukte als online magazines. Hij is hoofdredacteur en partner van American Suburb X, was directeur van Daniel Blau in Londen en heeft als curator tentoonstellingen gemaakt voor Unseen, London Art Fair, Hotshoe Gallery, Daniel Blau en Harlan Levy Projects.