Wundercamera is a group photography show, exploring the Museum experience, at the fantastic and spookily little-known Pitzhanger House in Ealing, London.
Museums are of course deeply concerned with the physical world, not only because they have traditionally brought experiences from distant places to home audiences, but also because the very way that they do this is by presenting physical artefacts and objects in ‘temples to learning’.
At the beginning of the twenty first century, however, the desire for these first-hand physical experiences, which was already being eroded by the media and television, is now under further threat by the virtual online world that has transformed museums into artefacts in themselves.
This change is a ripe subject for photography with its veneer of factuality, ever-present narrative and tendency to nostalgia, and Wundercamera presents the work of 14 photographic artists working on just this: Patrick and Tristram Fetherstonhaugh, Museum Clausum, Mark Dion, Jonathan Faiers, Andrew Grassie, Karl Grimes, Vid Ingelevics, Valery Katsuba, Karen Knorr, Louise Lawler, Stuart Leech/Dulwich Picture Gallery, Richard Ross, Traer Scott, Matt Stuart and Hiroshi Sugimoto.
It is a particularly strong show with each artist capturing a unique aspect of the museum experience, from the physical reality of the exhibits themselves and the interaction between the objects and their visitors right through to the fading aspirations and changing fashions surrounding the institutions themselves.
The show is curated by Klaus Wehner, runs to 11 January 2014, and is highly recommended.