ART LIGUE Opening!
With our first guest curator
An interview with Jörg Colberg
Over the years, Conscientious has become one of the most influential online sources for photography. It started as a blog and now, enriched with an extended version, it is becoming more of a magazine. How did you come up with the idea of keeping your own photography blog?
At the time I started Conscientious - back in 2002 - I was working as an astronomer. I tried to find photography on the web, but realized that it was all highly disorganized. So I decided to write blog posts about photographers, hoping that others with the same problem might find my site useful.
Let’s talk about you curating for ART LIGUE. Could you tell us what made you choose these 5 artists, and which aspects of their work you were particularly sensitive to?
While thinking about a selection for ART LIGUE, I considered artists whose sensitivity I am interested in, and who produce work that is more than just visually stimulating. I am aware that this is not necessarily the best way to describe this group, but I believe it shows in their images. We have a photojournalist or a fine art photographer - but essentially these labels are almost meaningless, as
all their images speak on many different levels. They are multi-dimensional. They can be interpreted in many different ways - and I think that's an interesting photographic quality.
Could you define what you find most interesting about contemporary photography, which territories you are particularly drawn to?
I'm interested in photography that challenges me, that requires me to change my mind; that, once seen, has the power to turn me into a slightly different person. Perhaps that's not a very good answer. We live in an age when everybody has an opinion, everybody has answers - yet at the same time, we all feel there’s a lot of uncertainty.
I’m not interested in people (artists) who only have answers. I'm interested in people who ask me questions – and accept that they don't have all the answers, either. Photography can be a great "tool" for that. Even though photography pretends to show the world as it is, when used smartly it does the exact opposite: instead of saying "Here, this is what this is" it can actually ask "Look at this, do you really think this is what this is?"
As a result, I am interested in any kind of photography that does that, whether it's hanging on the walls of a museum or being printed on the menu of a Chinese restaurant (trying to show what the food will look like if you don't know what to expect). This is why my definition of Conscientious is so vague: I can't put a clear label on it. I'm happy to live with uncertainty, because uncertainty means there will be possibilities.