Contemporary German photography is currently enjoying unprecedented international recognition and has been the subject of numerous successful exhibitions. Paradoxically, however, very few German institutions deal with photography on a continuous basis. In my work I aim to secure photography’s position as a legitimate form of artistic expression and make it an integral part of modern visual arts.
I am especially interested in forms of photography that keep within the confines of the medium. Since 1987, in my work for institutions with very different mandates and priorities, including art museums and kunsthallen, I have initiated and organized exhibitions of international contemporary photography. Of these, the large-scale thematic exhibitions held in the period since 2000, where distinctive artistic approaches within the history of photography were represented by a selection of positions from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day, have attracted the most attention. I very much hope the infrastructure for photography continues to be strengthened and expanded, as I feel that there are still many questions waiting to be answered. Why is there no national museum of photography in Germany, for example? Why is photography represented in less than a handful of the main German museum collections? Why hasn’t any German museum created an institutional counterpart to the photography departments of the major American museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Getty Museum? Why is virtually nothing taught about the theory and history of photography at German universities, academies and art schools?
Thomas Weski (2006)