Expanding the Stedelijk Museum Photography Collection: The Problematic Principle of Collecting GeographiesMirjam Kooiman
What does the world look like from inside the Stedelijk? This question formed the starting point for How Far How Near, an exhibition that investigates how the (non-Western) world is represented and/or presented in the museum’s various collections and exhibitions. How Far How Near takes a modest selection from one of the important genres represented in the photography collection, the tradition of documentary and journalistic photography. This cluster shows a specific geopolitical reality, namely that until very recently, in the policy that has underscored the photography collection, ‘the world’ has been represented through the lenses of Western photographers. This has been changing in recent decades. What is it that this expansion of geographical field of view and positions offers? What patterns and expectations are being created by this change on the parts of Western museums? And what changes has this affected in how we form images, and in the possibilities for self-representation by ‘the Other’ in the Stedelijk Museum?