Lukas Birk

Lukas Birk is an artist, a storyteller and a conservator. His multi-disciplinary projects have been turned into films, chronicles and books. A large part of Lukas’ work deals with archival material he collects while traveling or while delving into his own background. His research of consists of careful investigations and explorations of imagery, very often in areas that have been affected by conflict and have not yet had the chance to present existing material in an artistic form. His narratives tackle recorded history by creating alternate storylines and fictional elements, alongside commonly accepted facts. His created “archival artworks” have little to do with institutional processes but rather revolve around personal stories, the desire to preserve their place in history, and Lukas’ own emotional attachment to them.

Reading time: 22 minutes
In Myanmar, which was a completely closed country, they projected photographs of New York or Singapore or Japan onto backdrops and then people would pose like your regular 1990s young kid with a skateboard and a Sony Walkman which were both inaccessible in Myanmar.

Summary

The work of an Austrian artist Lukas Birk can be connected to some dilemmas of documentary photography. If the critique of the classical documentary photography stresses the responsibility towards the photographed subject and the problem of the exoticization for the western view, Birk’s work is often developed, displayed and distributed in the place where his projects are created. Therefore, the first audience of his projects are locals and are, in that way, maybe more closely connected to the project itself. He co-founded the Austro Sino Arts Program in China and founded a residency program SewonArtSpace in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The project Afghan Box Camera, which he developed with the ethnographer Sean Folley, focuses on the photographic praxis in Afghanistan, mainly on the type of a simple instant camera, which was traditionally used there but its use is now in decline. They investigated the origins, techniques and the many personal stories of the photographers using or having used this type of camera and also made instructional videos on how to build or use one. Attention to the overlooked photographic practices, history and contexts marks also his current project The Myanmar Photo Archive, a growing collection of Myanmar photographs that were created during and after the colonial period – the work of local photographers from that period has namely remained unknown until today.

Contributors
Alberto Frigo (1) Alexander W. Schindler (2) Alex Beldea (2) Alisha Sett (2) Ana Peraica (5) Andrea Mubi Brighenti (2) Andrea Palašti (1) Andreia Alves de Oliveira (4) Anisha Baid (2) Anne Noble (2) Artur Kucharczak (1) Asko Lehmuskallio (2) Ayse Lucie Batur (2) BIND Collective (1) Carole Baker (2) Caroline Molloy (2) Cedric Kiefer (2) Chinar Shah (2) Christopher Pinney (2) Clio Flego (2) CrimethInc. Ex-Workers’ Collective (2) Dagmar Kolatschny (2) David Bate (2) Devon Schiller (4) Emina Djukić (9) Gabriele de Seta (2) Gabriel Uchida (1) Geoffrey Batchen (2) Geska Helena Brečević (2) Helena Vogelsang Novak (2) Hendrik Zeitler (1) Hrair Sarkissian (1) Ileana L. Selejan (2) Ilija T. Tomanić (5) Ioan Daniel Mihalcea (2) Ivan Petrović (2) Iza Pevec (8) Janaki Somaiya (2) Jan Babnik (3) Jani Pirnat (2) Jasna Jernejšek (14) Jernej Čuček Gerbec (2) Joan Fontcuberta (2) Joanna Zylinska (2) John Hillman (4) John Tagg (2) Karin Becker (4) Ketaki Sheth (1) Ksenija Berk (3) Lara Plavčak (3) Lenart J. Kučić (6) Lisa Andergassen (2) Louise M. Hisayasu (4) Lukas Birk (2) Maja Smrekar (1) Manca Jevšček (1) Maria Paschalidou (2) Marija Skočir (2) Marjan Kodelja (2) Mark Curran (2) Marko Stojanović (1) Martin Bayer (2) Martin Parr (2) Matej Sitar (4) Michelle Proksell (2) Miha Colner (12) Mihai Șovăială and Horațiu Șovăială (1) Monika Schwarzler (4) Montse Morcate (2) Murat Durusoy (2) Murat Germen (2) Nataša Ilec (4) Nezaket Tekin (2) Nicholas Mirzoeff (1) Onur Ciddi (1) Panos Kompatsiaris (2) Paolo Silvio Harald Favéro (2) Patricia Prieto-Blanco (2) Paula Horta (2) Paula Roush (2) Peter Hermans (2) Peter Koštrun (2) Peter Rauch (2) Richard Whitlock (2) Robbie Cooper (2) Robert Hariman (2) Ronnie Close (2) Samsul Alam Helal (1) Simon Menner (2) Simon Podgoršek (1) Stephen Snyder (2) Steve Edwards (2) Urška Savič (8) Witold Kanicki (3)

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