President’s Visit

World Press Photo Groningen - Synagoge Folkingestraat, Groningen, NL | November, 2017

A site specific installation of “An ongoing investigation into the documentation of an attempted assassination, or the appearance of a snake”.

The 1980 World Press Photo edition directed the gazes of its audience mainly towards the ‘far east’. ‘The World’ was seen through the lenses of European, Russian and American photographers. This installation asks its audience to consider whether Elly Rwakoma’s photographs could have  stood a chance, if only he would have had access to the competition.

In 1979 Presidential Photographer Rwakoma was present at a political rally that turned into chaos. He says that there was an attempted assassination on Godfrey Binaisa, who was then the president of Uganda. There were many casualties. The president himself was not injured. The newspaper reports related to the event contradict each other.

This investigation is a derived observation related to Ebifananyi 3, All the Tricks – Elly Rwakoma.

Video documentation of the installation can be found here.

The documentation sequence ends with two views into the synagogue that include a presentation of work in progress made by students from Minerva Art Academy (where I teach). Coached by Andrea Hooijmans (Wereld Pers Foto Groningen) and me the students are researching one of the world press photograph winners of their choice since 1955. This activity is part of a research project titled ‘Unfixing Histories’. Unfixing Histories investigates artistic strategies in dealing with the past, and the place of photographic imagery in these strategies and their outcomes.