RAY Echoes Emotion

3 Mai – 1 September 2024

Press preview: Thursday, 2 May, 11 am
Opening. Thursday, 2 May, 7 pm

© Anton Kusters

For decades, the art institutions and collections in Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main region have been home to a remarkable density and expertise in the field of photography and related media. Following on from the first four successful editions of RAY the Triennial of Photography, eleven cooperating institutions are once again joining forces to make this focus internationally visible. With exhibitions, numerous events, and a three-day festival on the triennial theme of ECHOES, RAY offers a multifaceted exploration of photography.

How do images contribute to our understanding of our identity, our memories, our emotions, and our ability to grasp and process current social, societal, and political challenges? RAY Echoes offers no answers to these questions, but rather – like a laboratory – many perspectives and opportunities for individual exploration. On this basis, RAY Echoes concentrates on three focal points: Identity, Memory, and Emotion.

The exhibition RAY Echoes. Emotion at the Museum Angewandte Kunst featuring Jesper Just, Anton Kusters, Jyoti Mistry, and Diego Moreno focuses on photographic and media-related images that can trigger an emotional response or echo in us as viewers. By responding with an emotion – an interplay of feelings, thoughts, and a physical reaction — our own experiences and perspectives always feed into the interpretation of what we see.

In Malign Influences, the artist Diego Moreno (b. 1992, Mexico) graphically intervenes in photographs from his family archive. This is a reaction to his past – abuse, a highly religious upbringing and the resulting feelings of guilt, the long repression of his sexual identity, loneliness: an artistic practice as an attempt at subversion, resistance, and self-empowerment.

For his work The Blue Skies Project, Anton Kusters (b. 1974, Belgium) spent six years researching and travelling to former concentration and extermination camps in Europe to photograph the skies there. Each resulting Polaroid photograph is blind embossed by hand with the number of victims of the respective camp and its GPS coordinates. It is a work about remembrance and commemoration. The Blue Skies Project was curated by Monica Allende.

In her project Cause of Death (2020), Jyoti Mistry (b. 1970, South Africa) collages historical archive material from the EYE Film Museum in Amsterdam, directing a critical eye toward the historical marginalisation and representation of women. In contrasting images, Western women are portrayed either as sex symbols or as mother figures, while non-Western women appear as exotic attractions. The video material is accompanied by the words of the South African writer and poet Napo Masheane.

In the work Interfears (2022) by Jesper Just (b. 1974, Denmark), an actor (Matt Dillon) recites a monologue while an MRI machine scans his brain. The film questions the difference between real and simulated emotions. Interfears suggests that emotions and emotional responses are learned, a product of the social and cultural environment.

© Diego Moreno