With great success, the 2nd Triennial of Photography Hamburg took place from the end of April to September 2002. About 200,000 guests visited the numerous exhibitions in museums, cultural institutions, and galleries in and around Hamburg. Altogether, 101 shows were offered to the public in 61 places. Furthermore, two photo conventions were held, on the occasion of which the photographers' union FreeLens awarded the Layout Prize. Additionally, three symposia and eighteen lectures supplemented the extensive program.
The 2nd Triennial of Photography had Reality check as its motto. Participating museums and cultural institutions had agreed on that theme with the aim of critically examining the possibilities of perception and impact on photography in a changing media world. "Today we all are surrounded by millions of images. We got used to perceive catastrophes and human suffering not by means of immediate experience but through numerous pictures which range from subjective impressions to virtual images", said F.C. Gundlach, initiator of the triennial, at the opening reception of the Hamburg senate. How striking this observation is and how easily different forms and techniques are mixed, especially within the medium of photography, could be seen in the exhibition Archaeology of Elegance at the Deichtorhallen. Concerning the presented fashion photography, boundaries between reality and fiction were sometimes blurred so that an understanding of these pictures demanded a critical eye and a complex perception.
Despite the production of images on a huge scale, usually only a fraction of what has been printed and shown is kept. Therefore, it was a lucky chance for the triennial to have an exhibition that actually represented a unique visual archive. Collected by Robert Lebeck, the exhibition Kiosk (kiosk) presented one of the best collections of photo reports of original newspapers and magazines of the last 150 years. The exhibition gave us an understanding of a reality that is completely lost today. Especially by means of the printed photo, the old, brown paper, the different printing techniques, and the layout of that time, photography told the story of its own history and became a reliable witness of past events. Particularly in Hamburg, Germany's capital of the print media, where the digital revolution has left its mark on the radically changed production of newspapers and magazines, this exhibition was a wonderful enrichment of the photo festival.
The Altonaer Museum and the Museum für Völkerkunde put emphasis on historical photographs with their exhibition Indianer (Native Americans), whereas the other museums showed contemporary photography. The following exhibitions - Mythos St. Pauli (Myths of St. Pauli) at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Das zweite Gesicht (The Other Face) at the Freie Akademie der Künste, famous eyes at the Kunsthaus, Me, Myself and I at the Museum der Arbeit, Evolutionslabor (Laboratory of Evolution) at the Helms-Museum, Andere Räume (Other Rooms) at the Kunstverein, and Jürgen Klauke, a retrospective at the Hamburger Kunsthalle - decisively contributed to the amazing variety of the festival program and came up to the expectations of the triennial to combine history and future within photography.
In addition to the museums' exhibitions, various art galleries made every effort and contributed an exciting program to the festival. Both young and established galleries offered high quality photo prints. Especially worth mentioning, the gallery Cato Jans committed itself to the public space and presented Michael Najjar's outdoor project no memory access, a digital and software-controlled projection, on the outer wall of the gallery Galerie der Gegenwart. Moreover, it was also Cato Jans that organized the project Liebscher in Concert in the lobby of the Deichtorcenter, likewise open to the public.
The participation of museums and galleries of the Hamburg area was as well outstanding. From Glückstadt to Ahrensburg, from Bad Oldesloe to Jesteburg, many cultural institutions opened their premises to photography.
The supporting program, including various lectures and symposia with nationally as well as internationally important experts and meetings of photographic organizations such as FreeLens, excellently completed the 2nd Triennial of Photography Hamburg.
The most important supporters of the 2nd Triennial of Photography Hamburg:
Zeit-Stiftung Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius
Kultur- und Wirtschaftsbehörde der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe
BAT (British American Tobacco)
Dieter Becken Investment
Jones Lang LaSalle
Sony Deutschland Digital Imaging