Akram Zaatari

Akram Zaatari, To Retouch, 2017, Pigment inkjet print on Photo Rag Hahnemuehle paper, 100 x 150 cm, © Akram Zaatari

Exhibition opening

Friday, 17 November 2017, 7 p.m.
Free entry.

Susanne Gaensheimer, Director
Doris Krystof, Curator

Afterwards: Artist Talk
Akram Zaatari and Doris Krystof

Preview for pupils and students

Friday, 17 November 2017, 3.30 p.m.

Before the official opening, pupils and students older than 14 will have the exclusive occasion to experience the exhibition in advance and to discuss with the artist Akram Zaatari (in English).

Presentation: Vera Drebusch
Free entry, without registration, pupil / student ID required.


Akram Zaatari – Against Photography. An Annotated History of the Arab Image Foundation.

With an introduction by Hiuwai Chu and Bartomeu Marí, essays by Mark Westmoreland and Akram Zaatari, a conversation between Chad Elias and Akram Zaatari. Co-published by MACBA, the MMCA, and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. Publication date: December 2017, ca. 264 pages, Price: approx. 32 €


Against Photography. An Annotated History of the Arab Image Foundation

18 November 2017 – 25 February 2018
K21 Ständehaus

Photographic objects have been the centre of Akram Zaatari’s (born in Saida/Lebanon in 1966, lives and works in Beirut) artistic practice since 1995. Photographic formations or emergences, as he calls them, are the focus of this exhibition: enigmatic objects that bear traces of past events and accompany people through key moments in their lives. Cherished at times, destroyed at others, photographs are capable of provoking diverse and extreme reactions. Initially, capturing instances, they change over time. The perception of an image changes, but sometimes the physicality of the object itself is also altered as a result of its contact with the natural, social and political environment. As a co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation (1997 in Beirut) and as principle contributor to its expanding collection, Zaatari’s oeuvre represents an uncompromising contribution to the discourse on photography and its changing function over the years.

His work (video installations, films, photographic objects etc.) reflects on the shifting nature of borders and the production and circulation of images in the context of the current political divisions in the Middle East. Against Photography traces Zaatari’s various contributions to expanding our understanding of photography through a reflection on the evolution of the AIF and it’s collection. It can be seen as the outcome of an excavation that addresses the institution as a whole, extending to specific collections and photographic objects that might carry traces of wear and sometimes violence. This first exhibition of Zaatari in a museum in Germany presents an artist’s perspective that takes an archeological approach, at a distance from collecting, preservation and organizational practices.

Exhibition organized by the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA), in collaboration with Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen.

Curated by Hiuwai Chu (MACBA) und Bartomeu Mari.
Curator of the Düsseldorf venue: Doris Krystof.

Funded by Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen.

Media partner: Handelsblatt



Public guided tours

(Registration required)

Tuesday, 4.30 – 5.30 p.m.
Sunday, Holidays, 3.00 – 4.00 p.m.

Family tour and visit of the Blue Photo Studio

Tours with different themes from November 26, 2017:


Registration during office times:
Mo-Th 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Fr 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Booked guided tours

Applications for groups and pre-registered tours in German, English, French and others:


Accompagnying program

Discussions, talks and workshops will be accompanying the exhibition in the framework of the "Linklaters-Thementag" on November 19, 2017 as well as during the "KPMG-Kunstabende" and "Futur 3" at the Schmela Haus.



Futur 3