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The New Eye - the Interwar Period Though the Lense

Culture and languages

Gothenburg turns 400 in 2021 and as part of the anniversary celebrations the Hasselblad Foundation and GPS400 are launching The New Eye, a unique exhibition project at the Hasselblad Center about photography and film cultures during the Interwar period, with a specific focus on Gothenburg.

Exhibition
Date
28 May 2021 - 26 Sep 2021
Location
Hasselblad Center

Participants
HDK-Valand
Hasselbladstiftelsen

The Interwar period was a turbulent time in Sweden and globally, beginning with a pandemic, the Spanish flu, which turned out to be one of the worst the world had ever seen. In Sweden, women gained the right to vote in 1921 and the labour movement kept advancing their position, eventually making it into government. During ‘the Roaring Twenties’, the Western World was a hotbed of economic, social, artistic and cultural dynamism – coupled with political currents such as internationalism and pacifism. Over time, however, and particularly after the global stock market crash, the drive towards mutual understanding gave way to extreme counter-movements such as fascism and Nazism. 

 

Photography and film played central roles in the technological, social, political and cultural transformation that occurred during the Interwar period. New visual techniques and practices were developed in the fields of art, advertising, industry and science. The international exhibitions held in Sweden during the period became an important platform for defining and spreading knowledge about the new means of expression and applications that photography and filmmaking were embracing. The exhibitions united – in a way that is hardly seen today – artistic photography and film, professional portraits, and photographic and filmic applications within scientific fields such as ethnography, botany, astronomy, physics and medicine, not to mention areas including law enforcement, defence, communication, propaganda, fashion and advertising.

Based on the photo exhibitions of the Interwar period, The New Eye at the Hasselblad Center presents a wide assortment of photographic and film practices from the years 1919–1939. In highlighting the diversity and breadth of these two lens media, the material reflects visual cultures not only in Gothenburg and Sweden but further afield.  

The exhibition opens on Friday 28 May and closes on Sunday 26 September. Information about the guided tours, seminars and panel debates that will be held over the course of the exhibition is available on this website and via the Hasselblad Foundation.

 

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