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The Cliff House Postcard Puzzle

posted on 2020-02-29, 00:00 authored by Patrick Pound
The Cliff House Postcard Puzzle



German Photography. Biennale (2020 : Mannheim, Germany)


Kunsthalle Mannheim


Mannheim, Germany

Place of publication

Mannheim, Germany

Start date


End date




Research statement

'The Cliff House Postcard Puzzle' was a major museum installation featured in the 2020 German photography Biennale curated by David Campany. Campany, world leading photo historian and the senior curator at the International Centre for Photography, New York. The Biennale, 'The Lives & Loves of Images' was staged across six German museums. Pound's work was a vast installation of many intersecting collection based photographic archive works, which were hung to intersect in an algorithmic matrix. Pound's work stretched across two huge walls of the Kunsthalle Mannheim. The intersecting matrix installation is a new form of curatorial art making and installing that proposes a new way of thinking through collections in a post internet age. The Biennale was housed at the Kunsthalle Mannheim; the Hedelberger Kunstverein; the Kunstverein Ludwigshafen, Raum fur Fotografie I'm Museum Weltkulturen der Reiss-Engelhorn Museen, Mannheim; and the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen. and included the world's leading photographic artists such as Walker Evans, Stephen Shore, Justine Kurland, Broomberg and Channarin, Joan Fontcuberta, John Divola, John Stezaker. Pound positions the collection as a medium, asking us to re-examine and rethink objects that had become set in their ways. Pound gathered hundreds of photographic documents from defunct newspaper archives, discarded family albums and historical postcard collections, under several collection constraints. Employing algorithmic techniques and installed so as to find chance intersection points, 'near neighbours' and their categorical tipping points, Pound pressed visitors to rethink objects that we had come to think of in certain defined ways. Pound puts to the test the algorithmic nuances of search engines as method of collecting, sorting and arranging collections. The exhibition at the Kunsthalle Mannheim was called ‘Walker Evans Revisited’. This exhibition will now travel to the Netherlands.

Publication classification

J1 Major original creative work


1 x pdf of selected pages from accompanying catalogue 5 x photos of opening, talk, and install details

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