Whether sociopolitical developments, interaction on social media or our daily media consumption – there is barely an area of life that remains untouched by the primacy of the image. Through the course of digitalisation and globalisation, humanity has found itself shifting increasingly from written culture to image culture. Understanding, preserving and researching visual cultures and communication has thus become elementary to our comprehension of the world.
The newly founded ZeroFourFoundation gGmbH promotes the arts, seeks out critical engagement with visual cultures and works for the preservation of visual cultural heritage. Its emphasis is on photography and photobook culture. In addition, the ZeroFourFoundation is committed to the advancement of diversity as well as international and interdisciplinary collaboration in the visual cultures. The ZeroFourFoundation consciously operates at the interface of art, science and civil society: it develops and promotes innovative projects in all three areas.
With the acquisition of the “Gruber Library: Renate and L. Fritz Gruber’s Photobook Collection”, the ZeroFourFoundation gGmbH has managed to secure an unparalleled piece of cultural heritage, which will have international relevance for future generations. In future, the collection will be on show in the only photobook museum in the world, the PhotoBookMuseum in Cologne. Work on its inventory and scientific reappraisal has already begun.
You can find out more about the Gruber Library here.
PhotoResearcher Ausgabe 35/21
What would photobooks be without their critical vis-à-vis? Not much, as the articles in the current edition of PhotoResearcher show. Issue 35/21 of the magazine, which is published by the European Society for the History of Photography, has been turned into an extended edition with the help of ZeroFourFoundation’s publication funding.
In seven case studies, the authors grapple with the relationship between photobooks and their recipients. The books selected are remarkable examples from the history of photography. They have shocked, transcended societal boundaries and opened the eyes of whole generations to social and political issues. The magazine gives unexpected insights into the stories of the reception of famous photobooks and traces the processes by which the books and social discourses have mutually influenced each other.
You can find more on PhotoResearcher here.
The PhotoBookMuseum is the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to the photobook as an artistic form of expression. As a museum of the 21st century, it sees itself as a vibrant, social space, open to a broad audience. Having functioned thus far as a mobile museum, a permanent location in Cologne is currently in planning, where work on long-term projects involving national and international collections can be carried out. Here the PhotoBookMuseum, supported by the ZeroFourFoundation, will spatially and digitally present, research and among other collections make the approximately 5,000 photobooks of the Gruber Library accessible to the public.
You can find the PhotoBookMuseum here.