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29/11-12/01/2015 [Exhibition ]

A Worthy Degenerate

Hito Steyerl fervently defends the poor image.1 The low-resolution degenerate: 
what she calls “the wretched of the screen,” the image that lives on the Internet. 
The bootlegged and the widely circulated bad versions of their more visually 
superior counterparts speak of the rich image’s marginalization. The good image 
of experimental film and video art may be be stored in archives, screened 
occasionally, like a dinosaur on tour. The work of the sidelined cinephiles that 
were ostracized by commercial platforms have thus been reproduced in poor 
image, “whether they like it or not.”2
In some instances, one can make the observation that the natural cycles of the 
norm and the counter-norm dictate that the original, poor image might appear as 
a reaction, as a conscious or a subconscious revolution against the high-
definition, over-aestheticization of both the commercial and the experimental.
“A Worthy Degenerate” is an exhibition that thinks about the “poor image” as an 
original in itself beyond this endless feedback loop. Steyerl claims that the poor 
image is not assigned any value within the hierarchy of images; it is in need of 
defense as it nobly supplements the content of the rich image, keeping it alive. 
But the poor image has a valuable existence. Hasn’t it taken up its place in media, 
film and artistic production? Doesn’t it also live in galleries and museum spaces 
alongside the 35mm stunners? Hasn’t it been internalized into this marginalized 
community of the experimental as an original? 
In our postmodern landscape, to glance upon the poor image is to provide for the 
admittance of reality, a move away from the escapism that denies material 
surroundings, the root of imagination. Exhibited here is a world of content that is 
created by the poor image.

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1 Steyerl, Hito. "The Wretched of the Screen: In Defense of the Poor Image." E-flux 10 (2009): 31-46. 
2 Ibid

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