The exhibition Three Black Minutes focuses on vision and its social conditioning. The works and projects by five international artists presented in the exhibition question how visibility is understood in the area of art, but also in theoretical and curatorial investigations. Three Black Minutes is not conceived as a monolithic presentation, but rather, in the sense of a festival, encompasses temporary presentation forms like performances, lectures, and music presentations.
The nature of the modern exhibition is based on the assumption that knowledge can be exchanged through visual, image-oriented presentation of artifacts. This assumption is shared with other areas of modern life, as in photo journalism, didactic theory, and advertising. Since early Modernism, it has been intensely researched how visual communication functions and how its effect, like political education or advertising, can be optimized. Modernist exhibition practice experimented with various models of display. As a result, artists found new fields of activity in this area. One of the most important exhibitions of of these times took place in Stuttgart – the Film and Photo Exhibition (FIFO, 1929), which presented new possibilities of seeing through new techniques of image production.
The exhibition project Three Black Minutes directs its attention above all to the signifying quality of vision. Seeing and the construction of perception, as well as the channeled desires effective within visual processes, become a subject within the artistic works themselves. The works examine the relationship between constructed perspective and pictorial impression, as with the meticulously made drawings of Isabelle Cornaro, or the relationship between history and photographic and sound documentation (Jeremiah Day). They show how the gaze inscribes itself into social constellations, as in the paintings and photographs of Megan Sullivan, and how it is constructed through a technical apparatus like cinema (Nadim Vardag). From Richard Hawkins there is a series of collages with male models entwined in a game of appearance and disappearance. The exhibition questions once again where the meeting point lies between design and art, documentation and fiction.