‘Not Bliss But Relief’ brings together delicate publications produced in the last decade by women artists that explore the interconnections between the photobook medium, motion, and (cinematic) montage. The artists search for ways to represent movement — from a dance to the passage of time. Some of them adopt and transform filmic visual language or use video stills, working with the tension that the moving image can create when placed in the still and fixed form of a book.
The selection of printed matter is contextualized by a number of works in video and photography. Presented projects talk about intimate experiences, pausing on subtle-yet-very-present movements. The heroine touches a friend during a fast-flowing gesture of a greeting in Sanne van den Elzen’s installation ‘Today, too, I experienced something I hope to understand in a few days’ (2018). The artist deconstructs in 45 stills the movements within meeting and hugging one another. The diptych ‘Collector’ (2018) by Tine Guns reveals the heroine in a sleeping pose, choreographing her body without awareness of it. In Katya Lesiv’s ‘Lullaby for Olvia 2’ (2018), the character cradles the turns inside of her — the artist is observing her second pregnancy. The video ‘Planar’ (2017) by Martine Stig traces the movements of looking at and through a cityscape. Finally, a piece from ‘Cathédrales’ (2014) by Laurence Aëgerter talks about the movement of the shadow over a Bourges gothic cathedral’s photograph that the artist kept in her studio.
Specifically for the occasion of the show, three take-away posters have been created. Each of them features, besides photography, a text that analyzes one of the exhibited books: ‘Noir’ by Martine Stig (FW:Books, 2016), ‘Today, too, I experienced something I hope to understand in a few days’ by Sanne van den Elzen (FW:Books, 2018), and ‘Rocambolesco’ by Tine Guns (self-published, 2019). All posters are designed by one of the participating artists Tine Guns.
Daria Tuminas (RU, based in NL) is a curator at FOTODOK. Starting from 2017 and until December 2019, Tuminas worked as the head of Unseen Book Market at Unseen Amsterdam. Daria regularly contributes texts to various media, to name just a few: in 2017, she was the guest editor of The Photobook Review #12 published by Aperture; in 2018, she contributed a chapter on East European photobooks to ‘How We See: Photobooks by Women’ by 10 x 10 Photobooks; in 2020, she co-wrote a text ‘Is a Book Worth a Tree?’ for YET issue 12, and co-edited doc! photo magazine issue 46.