Annette Kelm at Centre de la photographie Genève

Without photography, the free trade of goods developed by capitalism over the last 200 years would be unthinkable. Photography itself has been around for approximately the same length of time. And in the era of online shopping, following on from catalogue shopping, photography can only become more important.

The Fétichismarchandise exhibition brings together three artists, Annette Kelm (born in 1975, lives and works in Berlin), Stephanie Kiwitt (born in 1972, lives and works in Brussels) and Ricarda Roggan (born in 1972, lives and works in Leipzig), whose work examines—either partly or principally—the nature of the representation of the consumer goods the capitalist economy presents to those who have the power to buy them in exchange for money, which is nothing more than the value of their own time sold to an entrepreneur. Both the employed person and the merchandise itself are goods and are therefore subject to the same laws. One of the pioneers in the critique of the representation of merchandise, Christopher Williams, was recently celebrated at MoMA (New York), so we felt this was an opportune moment to turn our attention to the following generation. The three invited artists are 20 years younger than the American artist. In their highly individual approaches they cast a critical eye over at the role assigned to photography in this fight for seduction, visibility and the showcasing of merchandise. The term “fetishism” is generally used in relation to three fields. Setting aside that of anthropology, it is a notion central to the theories of Marx and Freud.

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