Kunstverein München

Hamburger Eyes

11 Jun - 31 Jul 2016

Hamburger Eyes, installation view at Kunstverein München, 2016
The Continuing Story of Life on Earth
11 June - 31 July 2016

Superheroes and strippers, cyborgs and sea creatures, nudists and ninjas, Godzilla, goths, gangsters, gorillas, guerrillas, Hawaiian waterfalls, wigs, waitresses, men dressed as bushes, business men, beer, fights, fire, clowns, cowboys, cops, cars, raccoons, crack pipes, Jesus — from 11 June until 31 July 2016, Kunstverein München presents ‘the continuing story of life on earth’ as it appears through the collective lens of a cyclops called Hamburger Eyes.

15 years ago, on Valentine’s Day, Ray Potes and his brother David printed a selection of black and white photographs on a San Diego photocopier, folded and stapled them into a zine, and called it Hamburger Eyes. Today, it’s still a family affair, just a much larger family. The network of photographers expanded cross-country, then overseas, while the publication and the conditions shaping it slowly morphed — from Xerox to offset, from analog 35mm to cell phone cameras, from 24-hour Kinko’s to Last Gasp Publishing and Powerhouse Books, from punk houses to a publishing house called Burgerworld to a lab called Photo Epicenter to a distribution channel called Zine Kong, from the San Francisco mothership to an alien pod in Los Angeles.

Ray remains the Editor, so Hamburger Eyes remains raw. It’s still grainy, grimy, garish, and gorgeous. 20 issues later, it’s still draining every drop of black ink from the cartridge. Still maintaining a distinctive and uncompromising aesthetic that’s more Eddie Adams than Ansel Adams, as Robert Capa as Robert Frank, and as Weegee as Winogrand — Mad Magazine meets Maximumrocknroll meets Magnum Photo. Yet Ray’s editorial position is truly steeped in the legacies of National Geographic and LIFE Magazine. Ray selects images for their almost unexplainable impact, for their ‘epic’ qualities that exceed understanding, that surpass language...

The Continuing Story of Life on Earth will be the largest exhibition to date by Los Angeles-based photography collective and magazine, Hamburger Eyes (and the first in Germany). Spanning all three of Kunstverein München’s exhibition rooms, a lattice of tables will display over 1000 unframed and uniformly-scaled black and white inkjet prints of images by photographers Ricky Adam, Daniel Arnold, Bill Burke, Megan Cullen, Stevie Dacanay, Jason Roberts Dobrin, Ryan Florig, Ryan Furtado, Mike Hernandez, John Oliver Hodges, Troy Holden, Kappy, Uri Korn, Alex Martinez, Dennis McGrath, Oscar Mendoza, Mark Murrmann, David Potes, Ray Potes, Ted Pushinsky, Lele Saveri, Andrea Sonnenberg, Brian David Stevens, Jai Tanju, Elmo Tide, David Uzzardi, and Tobin Yelland, among others.

Each image is being printed in a standard US Letter format, and will be exhibited unframed and face up on tables, as if a zine were being collated. The focus is on the quality of a given image, rather than on the quality of its framing or installation. Hamburger Eyes editor Ray Potes and curators Chris Fitzpatrick and Post Brothers will organize this monumental procession of images in an abstract taxonomy — bizarre and non-hierarchical categories that emphasize the symbolic and technical languages within this immense inventory. After all, for Hamburger Eyes, photography is a craft, an art form, and a legacy to be furthered, but it’s also a necessary tool for recording the world and deciphering the results.

A selection of Hamburger Eyes-related publications, such as Celly Brain or The Wormholes, and video projects, such as Stinky Streets or Darkroom Prophecies, will surface and resurface in various ways, in and out of the Kunstverein, throughout the duration of the exhibition. Kunstverein München and Roma Publications will also release a corresponding publication on the work of Hamburger Eyes — the sixth in the Kunstverein’s Companion series.

Hamburger Eyes co-founders Ray and David Potes will DJ after the opening, along with their cousin Robert Francisco, from 9pm-2am.

1 Bill Burke
2 Brian David Stevens
3 Bill Burke
4 Dennis McGrath
5 Ryan Furtado
6 Uri Korn
7 Mark Murrmann
8 Ray Potes
9 Ray Potes
10 Ray Potes
11 Daniel Arnold
12 Ricky Adam
13 Mike Hernandez
14 Lele Saveri
15 Jason Roberts Dobrin
16 John Oliver Hodges
17 David Uzzardi
18 Elmo Tide
19 David Uzzardi
20 David Uzzardi
21 Ryan Furtado
22 David Uzzardi
23 Elmo Tide
24 Ray Potes
25 David Potes
26 Andrea Sonnenberg
27 Alex Martinez
28 David Uzzardi
29 Kappy
30 Jai Tanju
31 Elmo Tide
32 Andrea Sonnenberg
33 Andrea Sonnenberg
34 Megan Cullen
35 Ted Pushinsky
36 Ted Pushinsky
37 Ted Pushinsky
38 Daniel Arnold
39 David Potes
40 Alex Martinez
41 Elmo Tide

Tags: Ansel Adams, Robert Capa, Robert Frank, D Zine