While photographs are valued for their depictive potential and representative content, the non-depictive, non-representational aspects of photographic works are also strongly related to their aesthetic significance. In this spirit, art photography has always aimed for the unity of form and content. Abstract photography has gone even further, celebrating abstract compositions for their own sake, without the need for appreciating or even recognising depictive content in the images. Turning a photograph upside down tends to strip it from its representative function, because the depicted scene and objects are difficult if not impossible to recognise when the image is turned to its side or upside down. However, the formal, compositional aspects of photographs become more pronounced that way, as our attention is steered away from scene and object recognition. In our Upside down exhibition, we would like to show photographs that are indeed turned upside down. Any photograph is eligible if the artist is willing to show it in this unusual way. Abstract photographs might be considered to be the most suitable candidates for this experimental exhibiting method, but there are many depictive works as well whose compositional qualities might also be appreciated in novel ways when turning them upside down, thus liberating us from studying and concentrating on their representational content. The theme is broadly construed, as this topic is independent of generic or stylistic constraints.
One curator's choice and three honourable mentions