Contemporary conflicts occupy the mind. Perception is a battlefield and fear a weapon, though these battlefields and weapons hardly resemble those of past ‘fields of glory’. Drone pilots, snipers and car bombs serve to trigger in an opponent a fear of the unforeseen, the invisible and the indecipherable. Paradoxically, the conflicts in which they play a part create a flood of images that seems to contradict any notion of secrecy or invisibility. Control – of a viewer’s state of fear and of the dominant visual tide – is essential. To release an image, or not to release it, might determine the outcome of a struggle. And still the conflicts that are inaccessible to the general public remain, arguably, the more vital despite their popular invisibility.
Simon Menner explores issues of surveillance through his work in photography, alternately exhibiting his own staged photographs and images co-opted from photographic archives. In many of Menner’s recent projects, he has taken on the politically manipulative use of the photographic image and its effect on the perception of contemporary conflicts. In this, Menner examines the ways in which the medium of photography can be implemented to render visible or invisible a conflict’s participants.
Simon Menner earned a Diploma and subsequently an MFA from the Universität der Künste Berlin, in both cases as a student of Stan Douglas. Menner has exhibited his work in photography internationally and will in 2015 have solo and group exhibitions in the UK, the US, Canada, Germany and the Czech Republic. In 2013, Hatje Cantz published a monograph on Menner’s work with the Stasi’s photographic archive entitled Top Secret: Bilder aus den Archiven der Staatssicherheit.
Further information can be found on the artist's website at simonmenner.com