Lucia Moholy: Exposures

I have copy edited the exhibition text for Kunsthalle Praha’s 2024 exhibition Lucia Moholy: Exposures, curated by Meghan Forbes, Jan Tichy and Jordan Troeller. It is the first comprehensive account of the Prague-born writer and photographer Lucia Moholy (1894–1989).

Drawing on newly discovered collections and archival documents, the exhibition presents the full breadth of her writings and photographs from the 1910s to the 1970s. It focuses especially on her early beginnings in Czechoslovakia and Germany, her extensive portraiture, her involvement in early information science including microfilm in England and Turkey, and her participation in art circles in Zurich where she lived for the last thirty years of her life.

Engaged as much with the arts as the sciences, Moholy’s work traversed documentation, artistic experimentation, translation, and photo-mechanical reproduction. Many of these themes have, until now, remained invisible. To address this, the curatorial strategy draws on photographs and video installations by contemporary Czech artist Jan Tichy, which speak to absences within Moholy's own oeuvre.

The exhibition is accompanied by two publications: the first translation into Czech (by Jakub Hauser) of Moholy’s A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939 (1939) and an exhibition publication (edited by Jordan Troeller and distributed by Hatje Cantz), with essays by Oliver A. I. Botar, Annie Bourneuf, Hana Buddeus, Özge Baykan Calafato, Meghan Forbes, Michelle Henning, Rolf Sachsse, Robin Schuldenfrei, and Steffen Siegel, as well as an interview between Jan Tichy and Christelle Havranek.

On 30 May, 2024, a symposium organised by Hana Buddeus and Meghan Forbes will take place at the Goethe Institute in Prague. It will offer an opportunity to bring a larger audience into conversation with the major themes of the exhibition, and also open up new topics for discussion related to the art and life of Lucia Moholy, with a focus on the mechanics of photomechanical reproduction, emerging notions of gender and sexuality, and individual repercussions of geo-political power relations.

Photograph: Lucia Moholy, Edith Tschichold, c. 1926. Gelatin silver print, 18.5 × 18.2 cm. Fotostiftung Schweiz, Winterthur. Lucia Moholy © OOA-S 2024 / Fotostiftung Schweiz, Winterthur