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Estelle Blaschke and Armin Linke: IMAGE CAPITAL at Museum Folkwang in Essen

September 9–December 11, 2022
The photography show IMAGE CAPITAL—Estelle Blaschke and Armin Linke is on view at Museum Folkwang. The exhibition, which covers the history of photography as an information technology in six parts, is the product of joint research by photographer Armin Linke and photography historian Estelle Blaschke. Image Capital also displays publications, objects, movies, archive photos, and interviews in addition to photography works.
Photography has impacted many aspects of society since its creation 200 years ago, including science, art, politics, the news, social media, and every type of business and industry. It now serves as the foundation for a visual relationship to the outside world. The history of photography as a sort of information technology is examined by IMAGE CAPITAL. It was created at a time when administrative and management processes needed to be optimized as they grew. Information had to be available and flow. Photography aided in the growth of international businesses and governmental organizations since it is an excellent recorder, endlessly repeatable, and reasonably priced medium.
Modern digital techniques (such as those used in industrial agriculture, engineering, and architecture) nudge us to look again at the gaps or overlooked periods in the development of photography. When and under what conditions did images start to function? What possibilities does image analysis hold for the economy? What part do archives and organizational structures play in producing new knowledge and insights as well as preserving photographic data? In capitalist cultures, what imaginaries, ideologies, and rhetoric shape visual practices?
In six thematic segments, IMAGE CAPITAL examines these concerns by delivering a unique photographic tale. Memory: the capacity of an image to gather and hold data. Protection: methods for maintaining the value of your brand over the long term. Access: the indexing and accessibility of images. Imaging: the use of photography as a visualization tool and component of virtual environments. Image analysis and automated image recognition applications are referred to as mining. On the rhetorical importance of currency.
The show brings together a huge variety of interviews, movies, archive pictures, publications, and other original materials based on cooperative research, texts by Estelle Blaschke, and the photography works of Armin Linke. The varied materials are presented without hierarchy or priority, providing an immersive, multi-layered story that visitors can reorder in various ways.

After its premiere at Museum Folkwang, IMAGE CAPITAL will be presented in different versions at Fondazione MAST/Bologna, the Centre Pompidou/Paris, and the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation/Frankfurt am Main/Eschborn.

intercom Verlag is publishing a digital open-access publication to be retrieved from

With kind support by Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation and Italienisches Kulturinstitut Köln.Museum Folkwang
Museumsplatz 1
45128 Essen
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm,
Thursday–Friday 10am–8pm
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