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by Sylvain Mouillard

European Mosaic - Photography Exhibition in Luxembourg

Translated Thursday 16 August 2007, by Helen Robertshaw

Luxembourg. The National Audiovisual Centre exhibits the work of twenty-five photographers whose photographs revolve around the theme of Europe.

Eva Bertram is interested in the relationship between the seen and the unseen, she is fascinated by all those things which are part of our daily lives but which so often remain vague and unclear. “A little bit like the relationship between the European institutions and the citizens”, explains the German artist. Very symbolic. Eva Bertram is one of the twenty-five artists who have been selected to exhibit their work at the monumental site of the Dudelange steelworks. The space has been completely reorganised for the occasion by the Catalan architect Albert Vallverdù, who has sought to create a connection between the building and the some two hundred photographic works exhibited within it.
The twenty-five photographers have received financial support from the “programme Mosaïque” (set up in 1996), the purpose of which is to “assist artists in the field of photography every year, in their creative work and research on the theme of Europe”.

Until 2003, the artists photographed the Old Continent. Each has their own vision and story. The organisers of the exhibition actively encouraged an eclectic mix of photographers. With very different backgrounds, the artists hail from all over Europe, but also from Russia, Venezuela and the United States. Each artist offers their unique vision of Europe incorporating urban landscapes, society, conflicts and migrations. It is a little as if within each photo an individual story has been distilled, a personal insight and engagement.

Black and white as well as colour photos, large format and miniature photos, obviously examine the past and the history of the European construction. Questions about the future of Europe are also addressed in many of the photos, as we find ourselves at the beginning of a new century and as the European Union continues to expand. Visitors to the exhibition can also follow each artist’s individual journey. These artists have all witnessed the development of photography as a medium. Those who have photographed situations of conflict, such as Patrizia di Fiore (in Bosnia) and Anthony Haughey (in Ireland and in Kosovo) have sought to “speak of“ the aftermath of such wars, in the minds of the inhabitants of these countries as well as in the surrounding landscapes. Pelle Kronestedt has looked at the issue of the unemployed in each of the fifteen countries which made up the European community in 2000. In their combination of images and colours, the photographs display a very contemporary and dynamic approach. Questions about identity certainly find expression in this type of exhibition. Such questions are explored in depth by Joakim Eskildsen, who is interested in the Gypsy communities of the Eastern European countries, and also by Cristina Nuñez, who has photographed religious practices.

Finally, the photography in the exhibition underscores the fragility of the complex structure that is Europe, and contributes to the construction of a European Union which so many Europeans hope to see strengthened.

Practical Information: Dudelange Steelworks, “De l’Europe” exhibition.
Until 19th August, open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10a.m. to 7p.m.

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