Currently at the Foto Museum, Rotterdam the exhibition ‘Questioning History’ presents an interesting moment for the institute itself to reflect on their own position on the archive/the collection and its relationship to photography. The show includes artists (not exclusively photographers) directly negotiating events and moments in recent history as well as utilising the object as simultaneously reflective and representational. Perhaps the most interesting instance of this, in terms of the current ‘De Keuken’ discussion, is Vid Ingelevic’s ‘The Metropolitan Museum of Edward Milla’ (2007) which recreates the Milla’s 1951, ‘Up at the Photographer’s: Fifty Years of Museum Photography’ in which Milla presented the snapshots of Met photographers within the context of the museum itself.
The works were spontaneous, unofficial and perhaps slightly subversive in the way they exposed the mechanics of the institution itself – representing the representative work of the Met. As a result, nothing was written about the exhibition at the time other than press release and museum’s statement about Edward Milla’s work on a more general level.
Ingelevic’s installation exactly reproduces Milla’s layout within the space of a small cube within the Foto Museum’s exhibition. The installation images of the Met snapshots may not perhaps be the best way of presenting the gap between these modes of display however the gesture is one worthy of revisiting.